The night that started on February 23 here in California, was the second worse in my life. For so many it is so much more terrible. I am still in this night.
I am writing this days later.
- First. I could not believe the words I was hearing from the channel of a Russian independent journalist, whom I really respected.
- Second, I forced myself to watch Putin's declarations of war. Since the covert war started 8 years ago and my hometown Donetsk and the lives of all dear to me people there from my childhood was destroyed, I could barely look at Putin's face, despite it was freaking everywhere, especially after Trump came to power, and he was idolized by many in US. But I dealt with my disgust. It was true, the Russian Federation invaded from multiple fronts.
- Third, they started bombarding the major cities. I have relatives and friends in some of them. I started making calls. I was able to reach my mother who was trying to tell me that I should not believe provocations. I made her promise me to dress warm and be ready to hide in a common basement. Our central apartment is at the top 5th floor, across the street to a central police building. I sent her multiple follow-up messages, but she refused to follow the links with true information. Now, my confused and demoralized mum is waiting for her fate, with her cat, ready to die.
- I could not reach my father, nobody picks up the phone, and his email accounts seem to be deactivated. I do hope he is in safety with his wife. I have extended family in Southern Ukraine, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, and many dear people all over.
- Some of my friends in a South-Eastern city, not so far from Donetsk, are home, trying to keep calm with their kids. Some of my friends are in Kyiv, messaging that they are still alive. Some of my friends are in Moscow, in pain. My friends in Germany are shocked, one of whom is an ethnic-Russian.
- I read and watched everything I could, including German parliament emergency sessions, military experts, medical information, but mainly the journalists on the ground and video reports by Ukrainians.
- The immensity of this horror and its consequences is hard to comprehend at once. Peoples with closest cultural, friendships, and blood ties are killing each other on a mass scale. But those who defend themselves have the right to do so. If you do not understand it, like some here in US, you have a serious flaw in your personal code of ethics. Most invaders are disinformed by a criminal KGB mafia, who get rich by robbing and selling Russian natural resources. Many of them are poor young idiots, with mothers who would not say a word to save their lives.
- I went through waves of horror, remembering new and new people in danger - my childhood friends, neighbors, co-students - everyone; sleeplessness to the point of half-madness, aggression, shouting, and crying. My husband was able to get home for one night from his new job on the East Coast with yet unclear schedule. He reminded me of who I was, that I could not go and fight. I switched to finding ways to do something. It was not much: inadequacy of money and payment methods.
- I believe Putin is able to use nuclear bombs. He would do it with deeper pleasure than being just feared or murdering so many fellow humans he despises. He would prefer the vast majority of us would cease to exist. The rage of humiliation, his default state of mind, is insatiable, from what I see. Many people are still talking about his game and such. I don't think so. People often want specifically the results they are achieving, it is not just a method to gain something else.
- Dear reader, don't think you can organize a nice life for yourself, fairly disconnected and observant, and never be confronted by catastrophes like this - some of them can hit you right in the core of your soul. I learned that responsibilities to others can help to live through it.