What is Actually Happening in Ukraine: a Talk from a Ukrainian Teenager

Op-ed

24 February. I was woken up by my mom`s words: "Wake up, we have got some bad news". I got up sluggishly from my sleep and grabbed my phone, not quite understanding what was going on. But I immediately realized that something was REALLY wrong as my mom was shaking unconditionally while checking out the news.

24 February. At 5 am Kyiv time, the Russian invasion of Ukraine had begun. 30 minutes later, Russian state television channels began broadcasting the address of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, announcing the start of a “special military operation” on the territory of Ukraine.

The war began.

Let's get back to basics

In February 2014, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was removed. With Russia's help, initiatives for decentralization and federalization were launched in the South and East of Ukraine, with the goal of providing these regions more autonomy, up to independence (DNR and LNR). The takeover of Crimea by Russia and the start of a military conflict in eastern Ukraine followed.

In the spring of 2021, the conflict in eastern Ukraine escalated, accompanied by increased tension on the Russian-Ukrainian border, caused by a large-scale buildup of Russian troops.

The situation on the line of contact in Donbass has deteriorated dramatically since February 16, 2022, and on February 23, Ukraine declared a state of emergency.

24 February 2022

Around 6 a.m, about 15 minutes after Vladimir Putin's speech had ended, journalists reported explosions in Kyiv, Kharkov, Odessa, and Kramatorsk.

On the same morning, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the strikes on important military objects throughout Ukraine and the attack on airfields in Kharkov, Kyiv and Odessa.

The shelling continued throughout the day. In the afternoon, the Ukrainian authorities reported on the attempts of the Russian military to seize the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, realizing how dangerous it was.

Part of the southern districts of the Kherson region, including the Genichesk district, came under the control of the Russian army.

It`s been over a week...

Yes, we had hope that this "special military operation" wouldn`t last longer than a couple of days. But it`s been over a week and things are only getting worse. So what happened during this bloody week?

On 25 February, Russian troops advancing from the territory of Belarus blockaded Kyiv and reached the approaches to Chernigov. According to the statements of the Russian side, Sumy and Konotop were blocked.

In Kyiv and Vasilkovo, fights were conducted with individual Russian regiments, resulting in the Ukrainian side maintaining control of the cities.

All this time, Russian troops tried to break through to Kharkov, but their attempts were unsuccessful. It is the attacks on Kharkov that are the cause of most of the victims of the civilian population.

On March 2, Russian troops took control of the cities of Kherson, Tokmak and Vasilievka. In the city of Tokmak, residents were left without electricity, heating and water.

All this time, Russian troops did not stop bombing the capital of Ukraine - Kyiv, and a siren sounds in all cities of the south and east of Ukraine, which warns of danger and calls to hide in shelters.Destroyed residential building in the city of Chernihiv

(Destroyed residential building in the city of Chernihiv)

( Kyiv. Second Day of Invasion )

Vladimir Putin, Stop Lying!

Vladimir Putin made a lot of speeches about the war but most of them consist of false assumptions and lies. All these falsehoods are creating a lot of stereotypes that are the reason for the stigma around war. So let`s clear things up.

"The Russian army destroys only military facilities. Residential buildings remain intact"

The only right way to refute this statement - to provide photographs taken in different cities of Ukraine in the period from February 24 to March 5. ( All these pictures are taken from ONews Ukraine Telegram channel )

( One of the streets of Kharkov )(Mariupol, the consequences of shelling)( Kyiv region )( Almost destroyed city - Borodyanka )( Kharkov. Public school)( Air bombs hit residential buildings in Zhytomyr)

"Civilians are safe"

According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Ukraine on March 2, as a result of the invasion, there are at least 2,000 dead and 1,684 injured civilians.

Since the beginning of the invasion, Russian invaders have injured more than 840 children in Ukraine.

The bombing of Chernihiv by Russian aircraft on March 3 killed 47 people and injured 18 others.

The goal of Russia's so-called "special operation" in Ukraine is "to protect people who have been subjected to abuse and genocide for eight years."

The concept of "genocide", according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, means "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, any national, ethnic, racial or religious group ".

Although all civilian losses in the conflict have been meticulously documented by foreign monitors since 2014, there have been no reports of such targeted killings of civilians in Ukraine.

Why the American TikTok "War" Trend is Irrogant?

"First time dying, kinda nervous"

"Smile for the history book picture"

"Season 3 about to drop"

I think I`ve missed the moment when TikTok stopped being an app with entertaining videos and became a platform for Ukraine as a subject of disturbing jokes.

I understand what "dark humor" is, but as someone who lives in Ukraine, seeing such videos created by individuals who are laughing at the situation makes me sad.

"That`s a coping mechanism." Emily, what are you coping with? That`s definitely not a coping mechanism for Ukrainians who have lost their houses, friends and loved ones.

Ukraine Needs Your Help

Ukraine needs your help! If you want to support Ukrainian people, here are some ways to do this.

- Spread true information! Unfortunately, Russian propaganda works well not only in Russia, but all around the world. So make sure that you are choosing the trusted resources and double check if they are not financed by the Russian media and government.

- Make your donations. We understand that you are most probably a teenager and you are not financially independent, but if you have the opportunity to donate - please do it!

Here are some trusted organizations to donate to:

Support the Ukrainian Army - SaveLife.in.ua

Support the army through Monobank

For Armed Forces of Ukraine

Help Animals In Ukraine

Ukrainians are very strong people who have been fighting for their independence for hundreds of years. No one could have imagined that in the 21st century we would need to do this again.

Ukrainians are people who, without weapons, stop the tanks of the invaders.

Ukrainians are people who shout in the occupied lands "This is Ukraine".

Ukrainians are people whose souls are not yet imbued with cynicism. Whose hearts beat in unison.

We do not just hope that in the near future we will expel the invaders from our lands and rebuild a new country. We know it.

Milana Kurash
10k+ pageviews

Hey beautiful people! Milana is a 16 years old, high school student who is passionate about writing books and novels. If she is not reading, you can find her watching Supernatural