This is my story about the first days of the war in Ukraine.
Everything started on the 24th of February, 2022. I was sitting in my dark room with a glass of rum, blowing puffs of steam with my favorite vape, and coding my hobby project. I took 3 days of vacation just to relax and code something for fun.
Finally, I decided to go to sleep. I was laying in bed listening to some SiFy audiobook as I always do when I drift off to sleep. I heard some thunder and I thought to myself being almost asleep “Cool, it’s gonna rain today”. A bit later I will figure out that it was not thunder…
All of a sudden my mobile phone rang. I took a look at the bright screen with a frowning face. It was 6 A.M. and my girlfriend was calling me. At that moment I knew that something isn’t right.
— Sasha, have you watched the news?
— No, what happened?
— Our city is under missile attack. Russia declared war on Ukraine!
— Calm down, it’s gonna be okay. Let me check the news and I will call you back.
It took me 5 minutes to look through the news. Russia declared a so-called Special Operation (it’s officially prohibited in Russia to call it a war) against Ukraine in order to demilitarize and denazify our country. “What the actual fuck?” thought I to myself. Multiple military buildings were hit by rockets. I could hear the explosions from my apartment.
A long story short, my girlfriend and I decided to leave our home and go to Western Ukraine where it’s safer.
My girlfriend and I are having a good time before the war
When things settled down a bit I ordered a taxi for my GF to my place. That night we were sleeping in rotation in case anything happens. I was awake all night and to keep myself from falling asleep I was reading through the news and kept coding my personal project (everyone has his\her own way to handle stressful situations, right?). From now and then there was a sound of explosions and I taped the windows to prevent them from shattering in case of rocket hit in the district.
Unsuccessful attempt to leave the city
There was an evacuation bus provided by my company scheduled for the next day.
In the morning we decided to go to the metro station and reach the bus via metro as it seemed safer than taking a taxi.
While we were walking, the city seemed dismal and abandoned. Everything looked greyed out and the city was almost soundless. Our soldiers with AKs, RPGs and PKMs were securing the metro station.
Military forces in the first days of the war in Ukraine
When we reached our station and went out to the street, the shooting started and soldiers screamed that all people should run inside the metro station. So we run along with all the people there. We were running late for the bus and it was highly unlikely that we would make it in time.
We got back to our station and I called the coordinator and asked whether they can wait for us for 10 minutes, she promised that they will. I ordered a taxi and when we were already reaching our destination I called the coordinator to ask if the bus is still waiting for us. She said, “I’m so sorry, we already went off”. That was disappointing as we already reached the meeting point. But on the other hand, it was understandable as the safe time window was restricted and they were rushing to go.
Twice at gunpoint
And then the toughest part of the day followed. We asked our driver to get us back home. On our way back I saw tanks, BTRs, and lots of soldiers. A dead body of a Russian diversionist was laying down the street. I’m glad that my girlfriend wasn’t looking out of the window and didn’t notice it.
When we were arriving a soldier stopped our car and pointed an automatic rifle (probably AKS-74U) directory at us. I didn’t know what to think, was it our soldier, was it a Russian occupant?
It’s a very particular feeling when you think you can die at this very moment, weird fear that rushes through your consciousness. I think that guy was not in the military, but he was in paramilitary with no experience as it’s fucking stupid to point an automatic rifle at civilians like that.
The soldier checked our documents and said that cars are not allowed here and we should go to the underground parking lot as it’s not safe around here. I asked him whether we should go away from this place. He said that this building going to be under fire as there is a military base nearby.
Television tower hit by a rocket in Kyiv
We went to the parking lot and were thinking how the fuck we could get out of that place. Fortunately, we met our neighbor. She said that there was some shooting on our roof. We decided to go to her car and that fucker that pointed a rifle at us the previous time did it again! Why the fuck would you aim at two girls and a guy that you have seen five minutes ago? He approached us, said, “oh, that’s you again, okay, go ahead”.
So we went to my mam’s place and from there we bought train tickets for the evening to Western Ukraine.
Now we are in Lviv. It’s much safer here, even though the aviation factory and military training area were hit by rockets. There is an air alarm almost every day but we are already accustomed to it.
Recently, a hypersonic rocket hit the mall near the building where I bought an apartment last year and was waiting for my keys just before the war started. Who knows whether I’m going to see that building ever again.
In the ruins of Retroville shopping mall
Every man in Ukraine is obligated to enroll in the military registration and enlistment office, so did I, and I’m waiting for my turn in the electronic queue. Meanwhile, I joined the Ukraine IT army and keep developing the software for attacking Russian websites and services and donating money to the military.
Military training in Ukraine
It’s unbelievable that the war is happening right now in the center of Europe. Russian soldiers are killing civilians, bombarding hospitals, and shooting down volunteers who are trying to deliver food and meds to people in need. 2/3 of Russians still support the war.
We will fight until the last orc leaves our land and gets back to Mordor.
A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.
P.S. if you want to help Ukraine in any way, read my girlfriend’s post How To Help Ukraine Fight Russian Aggression.