First Person Perspective from Ukraine

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The National Interest

The capital city, Kyiv, has become a main battleground.

Maya Martinez, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Since the invasion into Ukraine by Russia, millions of Ukrainian lives have been completely upended. They have been forced to flee their homes, separate from their loved ones, and worse. They have had unspeakable things happen to them in their own home country, and their lives will never be the same again. 

The United Nations has said that there have been 3,404 civilians killed, with 306 being foreign. The total number of fatalities is 14,200-14,400. However, Ukrainian officials  and civilians insist that the number is way higher than that. 

An ILS alumni, Mrs. Karyna Ledikova, was born and raised in Ukraine. She moved to Miami a couple of years ago to attend high school. After she graduated she moved back to Ukraine. She now has both a husband and son and has been living her life happily in Ukraine. Unfortunately, after the invasions, a lot has changed for her. 

She has been brave enough to share her story with the Royal Courier to spread awareness of the terrors happening in Ukraine now. 

“The hardest times for me were when a part of my family was stuck in Mariupol and we weren’t able to contact them for more than three weeks! All information we had was from the local news. We knew the whole city didn’t have electricity, water supply, gas supply or heating in their home. At that time it was really cold outside so all they could do is melt snow to cook some food on the fire. Every time I saw news from Mariupol about another bomb or missile, I prayed for my family and all the people who weren’t able to leave Mariupol. I hoped that the projectile would not hit their house, and that I would be able to see them alive. At the end of March, they left Mariupol and now they are in a safe place, but every time I read news about Mariupol and see pictures of it, everything still flips inside,”, said Karyna. 

Q: What is something you feel a lot of people don’t know that is going on?

A: “The Russian army continues to break all the rules that are written in international humanitarian law. From what has happened so far, we can tell that Russians don’t have humanity at all!… bombing houses, schools, hospitals, theater in Mariupol with the written word “children” next to it, stolen electronic devices that they send home from Belarus, and most importantly lives of civilians that Russian soldiers have cruelly taken.”

Q: What can the rest of the world do to help Ukrainians?

A: “I think the main and the easiest thing we can do is not to stop talking about what’s happening in Ukraine. It is important to spread true information because there is also an informational war going on…they say we have to wait just a little more and we will be free of these Nazis. This is how propaganda works and we must stop it.”

Her last update, as of early May, is that she and her family returned safely to her apartment in Poltava. Last week, Russian forces began bombing Poltava. She says she hears explosions every once in a while, and sirens go off at least three times a day. Some people are living in schools and kindergartens since not everyone is lucky enough to rent an apartment. 

Make sure to stay informed about the situation as updates will follow.