The War. What a frightening title. Well, since 5 AM on the 24th of February this became a reality for all Ukrainians. I vividly remember how I was woken up and told that it started. Sounds of rockets exploding around the city woke up sleeping people in Kyiv. We started packing stuff up. No panic, just methodically preparing for the worst.
I suppose, that calm reaction was because we were expecting it. A couple of weeks back we were joking about our 'meeting spot' in case of something dangerous happened. 'Let's meet here!', - we said. 'Haha if that could ever happen', - we said. We were all talking in hypotheticals not really believing what we were saying. But deep down we knew.
The scariest thing is that there are no right answers. Roads started piling up with cars very soon because a lot of people were leaving at once. Even on peaceful days, Kyiv was known as a traffic jam city. But then it was catastrophic. Some drove several days to cover distances that they needed hours before.
What do you do? Do you get out in a car and go into that traffic jam? Even knowing that you can make it worse. And stay in the jam when Russian tanks get into the city?
Or do you stay inside? That very well may mean that you will be stuck there if the invading forces succeed. You may be left without food, water or even tortured and dead.
People are not supposed to make decisions like that. We are supposed to live our lives, get better at things and make the world better. But Russia robbed us of that possibility.
For one and a half months we have been stuck inside wondering if the next rocket will kill us. We've wondered whether tomorrow would be the day when Kyiv's defences break and all Ukrainians here will suffer even more.
Now, most Russian forces retreated from my region. But the war is not over yet. Air raid alerts are still waking us up. People are still dying. The fight goes on.
The only question that I cannot get the answer to is - why? What did we as a nation do to warrant such atrocities? What did I, a young professional, do to live in fear? What did people from Bucha, Hostomel, Irpin, Sumy, Chernihiv, Mariupol, Kherson and many many others do? What are we paying for?
The only conclusion that I get to is that it is all meaningless. We became victims of a raging crusade by putin, russia and russians. Yes, I do blame russians. Many of them are complicit. Russians, not putin, came to our land. Russians implemented criminal orders. Russians celebrate the war. Russians made up the 'Z' ideology to 'denazify' imaginary nazis. Russians raped, tortured and killed my people.
Ukraine will not forget. Ukrainians will not forgive.