Yuliya Siedaia, Kharkiv, now Lviv
Yuliya Siedaia worked as a researcher and advisor to the Governor of Kharkiv Oblast on gender equality. She also worked in the "Academia of Women Leadership".
These are her words:
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city has been devastated by Russian air attacks, as the northeastern city home to 1.4 million people has borne the brunt of Moscow’s firepower since the invasion began on February 24.
Streets after streets have been destroyed, filled with rubble, bomb craters and twisted steel after heavy Russian shellings.
The footage shows abandoned cars riddled with holes, scarred from shrapnel and other cars crushed by masonry thrown in the blast, as well as flames still burning in some buildings.
Shrapnels have ripped through the golden spires of an Orthodox church, smashing all its windows.
Many people have been hiding in underground metro stations, where the young and old stand patiently in line for soup, salad and bread served by volunteers.
On Tuesday Russia made another attempt to implement “humanitarian corridors” after previous attempts at civilian evacuations failed. The Russian Defence Ministry has said humanitarian corridors have been opened for people to be evacuated from Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and Mariupol.
1. Main humanitarian needs
2. Announce to community
The Russian Armed Forces maintain their superiority in the air and, above all, in rocket fire. Russia uses cluster munitions and vacuum bombs in Ukraine, which are banned by international convention.
Given the inadequate actions of the aggressor country, the constant disregard for all international rules and regulations, Ukraine insists on the complete closure of the skies over Ukraine.
Close the sky over Ukraine! Save our children. Save civilian women and men in Ukraine. Stop the war! Now it’s your term to say STOP! You can help. Talk to your government and politicians.
Iryna Gritsay, Dnipropetrovsk State University of Internal Affairs
Iryna is currently coordinating humanitarian care on the ground, especially the care of people who have fled to Dnipro, including those who have been housed in the university. For this purpose, Iryna is collecting donations.
These are her words:
Dear our foreign colleagues! War. We, like all the inhabitants of civilized countries, believed that this was possible only in history, only on television screens! For the first time, we felt the cold breath of war in 2014, when a neighboring country, hiding behind far-fetched pretexts, occupied Crimea and the eastern regions of Ukraine. At the same time, Russia continued to call our peoples fraternal. They called us brothers, shot at us for eight years and prepared for a big war.
Ukrainians are very peaceful people, and even watching the concentration of the Russian army on our borders, hearing information from the intelligence services of other countries, we refused to believe that a full-scale war was possible. On February 24, the whole country woke up from rocket explosions. Putin, as a faithful follower of his teacher Hitler, began his war of conquest without declaring it, from all sides and even from the territory of the Republic of Belarus. I note that Ukrainians and Belarusians have never fought in their history.
It is difficult to describe the state of a person, the state of the whole country, where the ideal of peace is above all, where every family has those who died during the Second World War, where human life is the greatest value.
And at dawn on February 24, all of Ukraine wakes up from howling and rocket explosions. Fear chills the blood in the veins. Fear makes it impossible to move and make decisions. The first thought is children. Thoughts about children, about the home, about the Motherland, about freedom help to master oneself and organize oneself. Organize yourself, and self-organize the whole country.
It's hard to believe it, but queues lined up not in stores, but in military commissariats, Ukrainians did not buy food, but signed up for the army. Crime has dropped to zero, the number of violations on the roads has decreased. Volunteer aid points have been opened all over the country, combat-ready men and women who were not taken into the army are enrolled in territorial defense units.
Now we already know that the invaders wanted to seize our country, counting on their military might, counting on the contradictions in our country. An error has occurred. Apparently the invader was judging us with his templates. But, we are different. In one day, all political parties united into one, there were no rich and poor, everyone became shoulder to shoulder, for everyone the president became president, commander-in-chief and a true symbol of our country. The country was organized, armed and united in a matter of days.
Unfortunately, having no success at the front, the Russian fascists began to wage war against the civilian population, destroying residential areas, hospitals, schools and maternity hospitals with missiles and air bombs.
Probably there are no meaner people in the world than the Russian invaders, their hands are in the blood of children, women and the elderly. In the surrounded cities, civilians are without water, without food, without heat and light. It is impossible to agree on evacuation green corridors with them. Repeated cases of civilian transport being shot at have been recorded.
The war itself is a crime, but Russian troops commit the most insane crimes - fighting in the area of nuclear power plants, shelling and seizing nuclear facilities. So at the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plants, the invaders took the objects by force and held the personnel hostage. This is already a threat not only for Ukraine, but for the whole world. We all remember what tragic consequences were after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and after all, there are 6 reactors at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. This is one of the largest nuclear power plants in the world. The occupying troops amaze with their inhumanity both in relation to us, civilians and soldiers, but even in relation to their own troops. They do not stop, despite the huge losses. The roads and fields of Ukraine are strewn with the bodies of thousands and thousands of invaders, thousands of tons of damaged equipment. To all the proposals of the Russian side to collect the bodies of their dead, they do not respond in any way. After 14 days of a full-scale war, the losses of the aggressor army in manpower are commensurate with the 10-year war of the USSR in Afghanistan, and the losses in equipment are greater.
It is impossible to describe the numerous examples of the exploits of our military, participants in the territorial defense and ordinary civilians both in the rear and in the temporarily occupied territories, when unarmed people stop tanks. The world will still know, be surprised, marvel at the courage and courage of my fellow countrymen.
I would like to thank all our friends abroad who help us to protect the world from fascism. Your help is invaluable, but we need air assistance. We need a "closed sky" or at least the supply of aircraft and air defense equipment. Our cities and our lives are being destroyed by rockets and bombed from planes.
We believe in our army, we believe in our Victory!
Glory to Ukraine!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the EAF Berlin.