“We did not start it, but we will finish it.“

Artem, Mykolaiv region, 16.03.22

“We did not start it, but we will finish it.“

February 24th was supposed to be a normal day. I had no idea how everything could be changed, how one person's plan could destroy the lives of millions of people.

My mom woke me up at 5:00 a.m. and said that something was exploding in the city. At first I didn't even understand what was happening, but as soon as I got out of bed and looked out the window, I immediately heard several explosions and the sounds of jet engines. From that moment I had many questions, but as soon as I turned on the phone, one message from a friend was enough for me. My worst thoughts had come true–Putin had declared war on us.

I could not believe it. I was scared and I worried about my sister, who was in another city. I was lucky that my city was far from the border and was not an important target. After the end of the shooting, my parents went to buy supplies and withdraw money from our cards. My task was to pack the baggage and observe the situation through the screen of the phone. Some time later, I saw many photos of destroyed airports and military bases, but that was just the beginning. By the end of the day we were ready to leave the house and go somewhere, but we didn't know what to do. My mother was crying and my father was calm. The only good news was that in the morning my sister got on the bus and went abroad.

The most terrible day was February 25th. Russian troops landed on our city, but our brave soldiers killed and destroyed them. In the evening tanks drove into the city and the battle began. It was far from me, but I heard every shot. During the night, our military regrouped and repulsed the enemy.

The next 10 days passed like one moment. I woke up early, had breakfast and the air-raid warning turned on–it happened three times a day, so I had to sleep in clothes. On the first day, there were young guys with Molotov cocktails in the shelter. We were lucky because the shelter was large and under the house. Every day I saw more and more terrible photos, injured children, destroyed buildings, it showed that the Russian military wasn't different from the Nazis.

For the long time spent in the shelter, I joined the Information Army and tried to explain the situation to the Russian population. Sometimes they changed their mind.

After 10 days, my mother and I managed to draw up a route and plan how to get to my sister in Romania, but, unfortunately, we had to leave our grandmother and father. On March 5th, with the help of the Red Cross organization, we went to Odessa. When we got on the bus, we heard several explosions and an air-raid warning. We left the city immediately. When we were passing through military posts, some of them stopped us and gave us sweets. Our Ukrainian Army are real heroes.

After that, we arrived in Odessa and spent one night in a friend's house. A volunteer took us to the border. We walked two kilometres and stood in line for several hours. The border was on the water and we had to cross the river by ferry. We were cold but we managed it. Then we got on the bus and went to the city of Tulcea, where our sister met us. I've been here for 10 days, but I really want to go home.

As of the 21st day of war, more than 105 children have been killed, more than 3,000 civilians have been killed and an uncountable amount of people have been injured. All this blood on the hands of Putin and his army is an eternal shame for them. We did not start it, but we will finish it. Thank you to Western countries for their help, it would be good if they closed the sky over Ukraine. I hope this never happens again.

Slava Ukraini, geroyam Slava!