Following our Ukraine-focused Monthly Team Meeting in early March, we sat down with Karina to speak to her a bit more about how she was doing, and about what being Ukrainian means to her right now. These are her words.
My name is Karina and I’m a QA engineer at myOnvent. I live in Zaporizhzhya in Ukraine. On February 24th, 2022 all my plans for the future were canceled because of the Russian invasion.
I thought that I was prepared for the attack. We bought a carrier for our cat, water and food supplies, and kept all necessary things in one bag. Even with all this it was hard to imagine that war really could happen in the 21st century. We took everything we needed and moved to my parents’ apartment in the same city, but in a safer place. I tried to be strong, I left my own apartment with horrible thoughts. Last spring we had just started renovations at home.
In this reality, you can’t take a shower for more than a few minutes because otherwise you might miss the horrible sirens.
For the first 3 days, we couldn’t sleep because of stress and fear. In this reality, you can’t take a shower for more than a few minutes because otherwise you might miss the horrible sirens. I learned how to block my emotional level because there is no other way to see the violence against civilians, children, destroyed houses… cities. My whole country is under threat. I’m 27 and this is the first time I heard automatic shots, explosions, and air raid sirens that are not drills, and the first time I saw shelters crowded by people.
I had never heard so many “How are you?” before the war. Now, every “How are you?” is an “I love you, take care”.
For me, to be Ukrainian it is to live in my country. It is to have our own culture, language, and sovereign territory. It is to be a part of Europe… The thing I love most about Ukraine is our people, with their strength and self-devotion to our nation. I had never heard so many “How are you?” before the war. Now, every “How are you?” is an “I love you, take care”.
I never thought about what peace means to me but now it’s pretty clear. Peace is just back to my normal life. Life before February 24th, 2022. Peace is when my main plan for the future is something other than surviving. But still, we’ll withstand all this. We have to win because this is the only way democracy and freedom can exist. Slava Ukraini! Heroyam slava!
If you’re interested in reading some of the other stories we have shared from our Ukrainian team members, you can find them here.
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