Culture & Art


We have so many opportunities… But in fact it is just your vision which is grounded on what you have used to live.

In reality it looks so differently. In fact we are separated from all the world not just with boarders and check-in in airport, not just with guard on the boarders and visa which needs too much energy to spend. No… In fact we are separated by all the history. It is true, that history is always written by winner. Unfortunately Ukraine was always on side of just one winner. And I don’t know who was so genius and made such myth that Ukraine is “a child”, “younger sister”, “part of great empire” and all these craziness.

I don’t pretend to be the person, who will open your eyes on truth. I think truth is always on top and it is problem of people, who often looks inside without knowing what is on top. Or they just choose to skip it, maybe it is easier to understand something, or explain all the knowledge they have.

You should agree that actually you don’t care what I’m trying to say with writing here. And if you are reading this sentence it means “wow, maybe I’m wrong”. It’s to big prelude for people who started to read this text, because they’ve liked headline, or photo near, or they are bored in metro and already have read all other articles.

So… what I wanted to say that we are far from each other. Not just because our countries are on different continents, and not because it’s so rarely to meet Ukrainian in Europe or meet European in Ukraine. It is because we really don’t know almost anything about each other.

Thanks to all the brainy people, who’ve created Twitter, Facebook etc. But even here we are far. Very often I catch myself on thought which hash tags I’m reading on Twitter. And when I try to compare with “popular” ones… hm… it seems we are on other planet than you.

In January, when we’ve had first death on Maidan, I was thinking that it is catastrophe… that it is last spot which will activate people all around the world. But in fact it showed just how miserable I’ve been all time before. In fact we had Afghanistan, Chechnya, Georgia, Balkans, Syria… now it’s Palestine. Exactly, I’ve said WE… because it touches each of us. And I think as faster we will understand that as fewer victims we’ll have.

But now I’ve opened my Twitter and read popular topics are IOS 8 and iPhone 6. I know that for lots of people it’s sense of life, or they think so to have all these new things and always be so modern. Me too, I have to honest, I want that.

But you know, what makes me angry, is that we start to talk about it, we continue our life, we are discussing about new books, we get married, we celebrate Birthdays and doing party. We accept as something normal, usual and random the fact, that everyday there people, who are dying. It became statistic; we are just adding more and more death to history. If it doesn’t touch me and my family, so “Thanks God and let it finish faster”.

I stopped to communicate with a lot of friends. We just don’t have common topics to discuss. I don’t know what is going on in life of some of my relatives. Too much information on TV, in newspapers, in social networks, in my head finally. I don’t know what to believe in. Who is telling truth and who is trying to manipulate with my mind, who is sincere and who is doing his job so professionally that we start to believe in what he is saying.

I know that 21-years old girl in Europe or USA is probably a successful student of some of University, doing any internship or already working. Maybe some girls are in love and thinking about future marriage life. What I know is just what I see on TV. In your movies it is always bright and shining. Everyone is smiling, but no one knows what is behind smile. Me too… I don’t know.

What I know that I’m 21 too, and lot of us here are younger or older. A lot of lives were broken because of the war.

I know that I could also enter University this year and be successful student somewhere abroad, or do any exchange program. Maybe I would even choose USA and who knows maybe me and you, my reader, would meet once and be good friends.

But life did its job. My dad was called to army on 20th of March already one year ago.

I remember the worst nightmare that I had few times in childhood and was always talking about with my mom was war. I clearly remember when it always stopped. It was situation that my dad as soldier was captured and all my family too. I tried to help them, but in the end… always guns in front of my head and choice “or they shoot me or all my family”. After it I was always waking up.

I didn’t sleep well for almost a year because nightmare became reality.

The worst was in July. My mom has Birthday on 12th of July. This year it was half-holiday because my dad that time was in hotspot near Amvrosiivka in Donetsk region. Every day we were watching news with fear of seeing body of my dad or his name in list of killed soldiers.

But he has never said to us that he was in danger. He was trying to keep us calm. Especially knowing that my mom has very bad health and when she is nervous other disease can appear.

That day, on 12th of July, he was very strange; congratulating my mom like it was not a Birthday. All the week after he was just saying that everything is okay to mom, who couldn’t sleep and didn’t know why. When I called he said that he is surrounded by Russian soldiers, who call them and menace that will kill all the family if they won’t go away. But command didn’t react on that.

I remember I was calling to all the Ministries and all activists I knew… They’ve spent under shoots of Grads 3 nights. And after command said to go away…

You are perfect directors of action movies, so you know that after such culmination main actor or actress change life, way of thinking etc. Yes, it is true, now I can agree. I’ve changed a lot.

I was working on human rights organization for almost a year.

And I’m so angry on the world, on countries who proclaimed themselves as countries of human rights, freedom and democracy. Are you sure of that? Or it is just for making image?

Do you remember what the main thing in human rights is? I will remind you.

It is humanity and all values which are showing that you are not dog, wolf or lion, but Humanity with capital letter.

Being humanity means accepting problems of others like your own.

I couldn’t sleep well, I had to think how to equip our basement with products, warm things, sleeping-bags, medicine and other things of first need. We live on the border with Belarus near Chernihiv and Chernobyl. My city Slavutych was built after Chernobyl catastrophe and around 60% of inhabitants are Russian or other nationalities. We’ve never had any ethnic problems here, or language problems like Russian news says.

But we realize that if Russia will open 3d front after Crimea and Donbas – it will be Chernihiv and our city one of the first which are on way. Especially because of being so close to Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and all the objects which are working there makes our fear bigger.

I am happy, because thanks God, my dad after a year on the war is alive, my mom too. My brother is successful student. He came back after war, was officially signed off after a year of hell.

But now we are all together, our love replaces things we would like to have, but currently we can’t. It keeps us together. I’m just happy to come back home after job and feel atmosphere which I’ve missed for all this year. It is simply. It is LOVE! Love of my parents, love between me and my brother and between two generation of parents and me with brother.

I’ve always said that I believe that we have just those trials in life which we can survive and fight with. It makes us stronger and prepare for surviving in such cruel world. I believe that Ukraine can fight this period and show all beauty and wisdom it has to all world. And soon in history we will never be “younger sister” or “daughter”. We will be honored Ukraine with its brave people, like it was always.

About The Author

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Iren Broh

Iren Broh is a freelancer journalist from Slavutych, Ukraine. Currently main topic to discover and work in she chose human rights and its defence. She is working in the area of NGOs and non-formal education.