I’ve read a lot about war because I study World War II. Now I find myself in a country that’s experiencing war, a new type of 21st century, post-modern, undeclared, creeping war. My friends in Canada, the US, England, and Brazil, keep writing and asking, ‘How does it feel? What’s the mood like?”
Being in the capital Kyiv, where spring is in full bloom and the fighting is hundreds of kilometers away, it feels surreal. Every morning I wake up and turn on the news, like I do back home in Canada. The difference here, is that Donets’k, Luhans’k, Crimea, and Moscow are always the top stories.
All around me are people struggling to cope. They lived through the winter EuroMaidan protests, where people were attacked, kidnapped, and killed by their own government because they stood up for themselves. They succeeded in ousting a corrupt President, but are now watching as an enemy, hiding behind masks but carrying heavy weaponry, is taking over their territory and killing.
What’s inspiring is seeing people are doing what they can, where they can, and how they can. Journalists are gathering to discuss, how to maintain professional standards in conditions of war. Young men are volunteering to go and defend Ukraine’s borders, even though the state is not providing them with proper equipment or training. Activists are buying helmets and bullet proof vests on-line, bringing them across the border, and sending them to the National Guard.
The new president declared a national day of mourning after over 40 people were killed when a plane was shot down. He announced aid would be provided to all the families, and called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council. Priests are praying for the souls of the departed, as choirs sing ‘Vichnaya pamiat,’ which means Eternal Memory. Artists are holding exhibits and concerts to provide society with oases from the constant stress.
What I can do, is share this information with you.