What You Need to Know About Ukraine

What You Need to Know About Ukraine

Nyet slov, odni emotsii

For nine days we’ve seen a harsh war

Our cities are being destroyed
Our people and children
Our residential areas, churches, schools
Are being shot

For the historical record
My job right now is documenting
My country’s war crimes
For any future international tribunals

Few have access to independent media

The Russians are now occupying my hometown
And also, it seems, my memories
The mall where we shopped is a smoldering ruin
Another video showed corpses in the park
Where I used to go as a kid
With my mother and my class
To feed the swans

They tell me the Russians shot
Apartment buildings, homes, a school

Russian forces have used cluster bombs and
Other types of weapons
In violation of international law
This is brutality This is inhumane

The Pentagon established
A direct communication line Tuesday
With the Russian ministry of defense
For the purpose of preventing
Military incidents
And escalation

The first mass grave has been dug
It’s hard to tell who ended up in it

I close my eyes and I see and feel the city
My father walking me to school
My mother buying me
The tastiest korzynky tarts in the world

You hear kids screaming, mothers screaming
It’s so crazy
It feels like we stepped back into WWII
With the train whistles
People hugging and saying goodbye
Not sure if they will ever come back to this place

They shelled the cemetery
They are afraid even of the dead

I am a resident of Kyiv, for many generations
This is my place, and I am not leaving

Everything inside of me is boiling
Because of what’s happening
My emotions are overflowing, I’m telling you
I served and I am ready to fight
Although in 1990
I made a decision to be a pacifist

To the American people, I say
Please stop him
He will flood the entire Earth
With blood

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said
Russian war criminals will be held accountable:

To the people of Europe
I call upon you not to be silent
Support our effort and support our fight
Because if Ukraine will not stand
Europe will not stand
Do not turn the blind eye on this

If we win, and I am sure we will win
This will be the victory
For the whole democratic world
This will be the victory of light over darkness
If we win, we will become as blossoming as Europe
And Europe will be flourishing more than ever
After this significant victory

The captain leaves the ship last

When the dawn breaks
And there is light out the window
It is somehow psychologically better

We are a fertile southern land
With fertile black soils and two seas
We are a nation of peace

It is impossible for those who know freedom
To believe in the goodness of dictatorship
The flag of Ukraine still flies here

When someone comes and destroys your home
Kills children
Makes your life a living nightmare
You have no other words left to describe your feelings

How shall we describe this?

No words, only emotions

(A found poem of Ukrainian voices recorded from a variety of news sources over the past week. 5 March 2022)

Photo: Polina Rytova on Unsplash

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