“100 meters from me it shelled a tree!“

Tetiana, Sumy region, 18.04.22

“100 meters from me it shelled a tree!“

Hi! My name is Tetiana [...], I live in [...], Sumy region. Today is March 1st, 2022. I sit in my chair now, in my room. My laptop is turned on. I can speak Ukrainian, but in my city we speak “surzhyk.” This is a mix of the Ukrainian and Russian languages. So, I pronounce some words incorrectly from what they may sound like in Ukrainian.

What can I tell you? There is war out there, which started on the 26th of February, 2022. On the eve of the 25th of February, I was preparing myself for a biology test, which was to happen the next day. I have a very strict biology teacher, so I had to really put some effort and learn all three paragraphs. So I learned them all! They were about modifications of genes, etc. I learned them all and went to bed with a clean conscience.

My mom woke me up like nothing happened, saying, “Kids, wake up!” I have a younger sister; her name is Kira and she is eight years old. Mom woke us up and said, “Wake up kids! It is time to go to school!” So, we started to prepare for school.

I decided to check the chat we have with my classmates on Instagram. I open the chat and I see the message from my classmate saying that the war has started. I think to myself–what war? I wrote to him, “What war? Relax. There is only an emergency state. There is no war.” Then they started to send me some videos of Russian machinery dropping bombs on the houses, houses exploding… the infrastructure of our country was exploding.

In our city the situation is good and nothing was bombed, but I look and I am terrified! After a few minutes, my mom called me and said the war started. She turned on the TV and watched the news–today was a quiet day, and it was good.

We heard explosions, of course, but not as often as on the 27th when we were hiding in the woods. By the way, our local city council informed us that heavy Russian machinery was moving towards our city, lots of machinery, and they will shoot. So, we packed immediately and went to the woods with our neighbors, where only our neighbors had a basement. We don’t have one, so we have nowhere to hide. We went to the woods, and we heard a Grad rocket launcher, and we heard all 40 rockets–it was so scary, terrifying. One projectile was fired, it hit the tree just 100 meters from me. Literally just 100 meters from me it shelled a tree! The earth was shaking! My dog, I have a German Shepherd, didn't go out of its booth for four days from the beginning. My dog was so scared!

So, I hope that I will wake up tomorrow under a peaceful sky, with no explosions and no shots from machine guns. Glory to Ukraine! Thank you, Ukrainian Armed Forces!