“Mom, is this war?“

Larysa, Mykolaiv region, 22.03.2022

“Mom, is this war?“

“February 24th, 2022… The morning of this day began with a phone call from my eldest daughter: “Mom, don't worry, we're fine, but … is being bombed near the Kulbakino airfield, it's next to us…“. “Donya (daughter), this is war!! Collect your belongings and leave the city!”

In the first minutes, I could not believe that Russia had invaded Ukraine. I called the man who was working in … (by the way, he is still there because he could not leave) and heard explosions on the phone. The youngest daughter in …: “Mom, is this war ??! How? Why??“

I turn on the TV, I surf the Internet…. I cannot believe, I do not want to believe!!!! My Ukraine, my country, my home has been attacked??? In the first minutes - despair… Then, the realisation that something needs to be done. I am a teacher, a history teacher and my civic position is to help my country as much as I can to push the enemy away. And I, together with my colleagues, join the “Domanivsky Shield” community, where we start raising funds, clothes, medicines, food products and everything necessary for the soldiers of our Armed Forces. Almost all the residents join, they bring, they donate, they carry. All this is sorted and sent to the checkpoints and military units in …. But this is not enough for me, I want to do more.

Some disturbing news started arriving from Kharkiv, Mariupol…. the first casualties, killed and wounded and among them children….tears and anger at those monsters… Soldiers from all over Ukraine come to our school, but mostly from Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and other regions, and we are starting to prepare meals to lift their spirits. Every day, in the morning and in the evening, we take turns: first running online classes, then running to the school canteen to feed the Ukrainian soldiers. They thank us, but we are infinitely grateful to them for defending us against the Ruscists (Russian fascists). Every time we say goodbye, we give them our blessings, we hug and ask, “Please, stay alive and beat the enemy mercilessly for our homeland.“ We are so close to each warrior that we invite each other over for a visit after the Victory.

All days merge into one and you only count what day of the war it is. Thus, we did not pay attention to the 8th of March [international women’s day] (what holidays during the war?). In the morning, when we came to school, we quickly made breakfast and decided on what to cook for lunch and dinner, since we want the boys to feel at home. At about 10 AM, the commander invited all the women from the kitchen to one of the classrooms, he said we had to talk. We came, a little embarrassed. And there… we had a real concert. Among our soldiers, there were those who played the piano and those who sang well. First tears… followed by laughter. At the end of the holiday concert, all the guys lined up and congratulated us, gifting us bouquets of tulips.

We will be remembering this holiday for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, even though we took photos, the military did not leave any with us (for security reasons).

The military changes, but we stay and continue providing them with all the possible assistance, in addition to time and money, anything that could bring our victory closer. We wash their clothes, we feed them, we buy medicine and, if necessary, give first aid. We are all united in our desire to win!!

Larysa - history teacher, lyceum …., Mykolaiv region”

“I am sending a few photos from … in Mykolayiv region. The first is a photo of the blown up bridge which used to connect Mykolaiv to …. The enemy troops, eager to capture the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant, were hindered by the small town of …, which did not let the invaders through, and destroyed their machinery and personnel. As our defenders put it: “It was hot there.“

The second photo features a racist helicopter shot down over the….”