Marcel Gascon |
Kiev (EFE) their friends, their enemies and, above all, themselves were capable.
The start of the invasion exactly one year ago marked a before and after for all Ukrainians, for whom the war has radically changed their lives, their perceptions and their relationship with the country and the society of which they are a part.
“With the first explosions I knew that it was necessary to decide, and I decided to enlist in the armed forces, in the Navy, because I didn’t want to leave or watch,” Vyacheslav Teschner, a 28-year-old who left his job as a producer and television operator to join the defense of his country.
“It is not possible to be a spectator”
Using his experience with this technology, Slava, the abbreviation of his name by which everyone calls him, left the news broadcasts to dedicate himself to training soldiers in the handling of drones.
Asked about the reasons that led him to enlist, the young man repeated several times as if an obvious question had been asked: “because this is my house, because this is my life.”
Despite having a US passport and her family waiting for her in the US, Ukrainian-American writer Larissa Babij has decided to stay in kyiv and is working on various projects to support the military.
“My life has been invaded by Russia’s attempt to annihilate Ukraine,” Babij told Efe. “You cannot be a spectator in the war; Ukrainians have shown that responsibility and individual actions make the difference, ”he stresses.
Like Slava Teschner, librarian Marina Boklag still calls the city of Mykolaiv, an industrial Black Sea port with a long naval tradition known for its important shipyards, home.
After spending many nights in bomb shelters, Marina left her city, one of the hardest hit by Russian bombing, last April.
Eight months pregnant, she was traveling with her 14-year-old son, Sasha, and her mother-in-law Nadia, with whom she has settled temporarily in the Italian city of Ferrara.
She left behind her husband, a soldier in the Ukrainian Navy who was currently resisting the Russian siege at the Azovstal steel works in the city of Mariupol.
Less than a month after she escaped from the Ukraine by road through Moldova and Romania, the Russians were taking her husband and his comrades-in-arms prisoner.
“Since then, we have not heard about him other than what a soldier released in exchanges who saw him during his captivity has told us,” he says. “Through them we know that he is alive, and he is fine,” he told Efe from Italy.
Marina gave birth to a girl, Polina, on June 30 in Italy.
When the winter is over, he plans to return to Mykolaiv, where the frequency of attacks has decreased since the Ukrainian army liberated neighboring Kherson and where his parents, who refused to leave their town, live.
Russian aggression has separated and maimed millions of families like Marina’s, and marked the personal destiny of all Ukrainians. Some have taken advantage of international sympathy to fulfill their plans to emigrate. Others have abandoned those same plans to stay and work for their country.
Many see the Ukrainian reaction to the Russian attack as a catalyst for the transformation of Ukraine, where a critical mass of people seem determined to leave behind the burdens of the Soviet era and the chaotic democratic transition, to live in a way that they consider best. and freer.
Facing the existential threat that this war represents for the Ukrainian nation could also serve to abandon the vices and corrupt practices that have made Ukraine one of the poorest countries in Europe, explains Slava Teschner, the drone piloting instructor. .
“Our next generation of politicians must come from those who are now in the military,” says Teschner, who thinks that those who have risked their lives for their country will find it more difficult to steal or endanger what belongs to everyone.
“They know better than anyone the consequences of all the screw-ups our parents did,” he says of decades of widespread corruption among the Ukrainian establishment, which has often been tied to patronage relations with Russia.