To be a woman in Kyiv
The witnessing of what’s going on in Ukraine
by Guy Augeri
Our friendship was born out of a love for art, fashion and fun. A very common beginning finding friendship on Facebook but it turns out to be a very unique relationship. Prior to the war we talked maybe once a week but as things escalated we more frequently exchanged information.
She and Everyone thought Peace would find a way.
When war started, people did not have stock piles of canned food, water, basic medical other than what they had in their house. She is a very brave woman: her ex-husband had to stay with her until he can find his way back home in the South and her grandmother is in the annexed Eastern territory of Ukraine, since 2014. She eventually secured her living quarters but as the fighting has gotten heavier she has moved down into the basement where it is very cold. In the section of Kyiv where she lives the Russians are not there yet. We spend a few hours a day talking while the war rages. The Russians have hacked and are monitoring all communications on Facebook and Instagram, and the Ukrainians are finding other platforms to comment secretly. She has run out of food and now has to go out in search for something to eat there is a lull in the battle.
We all are Ukrainians.
These are her very words:
“Yesterday we woke up in the night because of a loud bang, it sounded like an explosion and we first thought of a possible accident. But then another explosion sounded very close followed by the car alarms. We googled what’s happening in Kiev and found out that Putin declared a war on Ukraine minutes ago. There are no suitable words to express how shocked we were. No one could have believed that a war, a full fledged war with Russia could be possible. We were not scared at the moment it was just too much to comprehend that we should be… By the noon there was no bread and almost no water in the shops nearby, some were closed already. Our cat needs special food and treatment and finding it became impossible – all pet shops got closed already. From our windows we’ve seen a quarter kilometer queue building up to the nearby gas station. Many of those who tried leaving Kiev in their cars had to come back because traffic jams made the getaway impossible. Time passed very slowly, we’ve seen disturbing news from all over Ukraine, called relatives, tried to continue working, hearing air raid alerts time and time again. Many people vent to the underground train stations being afraid of the bombings. Being freelancers we got a lot of messages from our foreign clients, checking if we were alive and expressing their support. The next night we heard new loud bangs. One missile fell down near the nine story building and the explosion was so powerful that windows crashed on both sides of the building. Since the morning Ukrainian military started giving assault rifles and ammo to the men capable of guarding the city. Soon the battle started in the northern part of the Kiev, in the living quarters. Ukrainian heavy armor vehicles and artillery were moving around the city. By the evening our friend from Kashmir, who knows the war from the childhood, sent us CNN video about Kiev – that’s how we knew that the city is almost surrounded. Ukrainian officials say that there are target markings found on the roofs of some of the civilian buildings and ask citizens to cover them with dirt to avoid bombings and missile strikes during anticipated air raid. I hope we will still be alive by the third morning of the war”.
Sunday, February 27, 2022
On the cover and in the article: screenshots and photos from our correspondent in Ukraine.