Looking back, we remember the first minutes and as in the fog, try to recall everything that happened afterwards. A year later, the war in Ukraine continues, and it is extremely important for us to continue the fight. As civilians, we are fighting on our fronts, for Ukraine and for normal life in our land.

Having lost loved ones, income, and a sense of security, more and more families close to us are deciding to seek refuge in other countries of the world. After death and destruction, this is the greatest loss of our nation. There is a painful feeling of losing loved ones, which is superimposed on the general background of war. For now, we console ourselves with the thought that after the war they will be able to return home. At the same time, we know that for most of these families their new home will not be in Ukraine. Yes, they will come to visit, but they will never return home to Ukraine.

Ukraine is winning. We hear this from TV screens and from NATO partners’ reports. Victory seems close, maybe even this year. But then, every day we receive news that a friend, colleague, classmate has been killed, and hear of another rocket attack by the Russians on a residential building with dozens of deaths. Daily plans change as we try to help the families of the dead, and a new event – a funeral – is added to the calendar. This is not shown on television and is not something we want to talk about when you ask, “How are you?”. Frankly, we don’t even want to remember what 2022 was like. At the same time, it is important not to forget. Memories of the past year fuel our desire to defeat Russia. Our people are suffering painfully, but it is an opportunity to defeat evil and stop Russia before it brings more disaster to other nations!

Indeed, it is difficult to forget the first hours of the beginning of the war when life divided into “before” and “after”. My brother Elliah informed me about the start of the war by phone at 5:00 in the morning. That was the beginning of the hardest day of my life.

Vitaliy Sobko

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