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  • Claire Lee

Life Under Missiles: Continued

During the months following and after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th 2022, social media was swarmed by a plethora of tweets and posts. They first warned then, after the invasion, condemned the Russian government for starting an unnecessary war. Various multinational companies including Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola pledged to withdraw their operations in Russia and, for a while, it seemed as if the entire world supported Ukraine.


Yet, as the war progresses, the algorithm on social media has pushed information on the Russo-Ukrainian War into the forgotten depths of the platform, as with most sensationalist news. Should this post come across your “Discover” page on Instagram, I hope that you’ll take a few minutes of your day to educate yourself about the millions of Ukrainians have been affected by the war.


With a potential stalemate looming, Ukrainian President Zelensky attended an unexpected visit to the White House on December 21, 2022. Shortly afterwards, $45 billion of military aid to Ukraine was approved by the US House of Representatives. Although many hope the funds will boost Ukraine’s arsenal, Zelensky commented, “Is it enough? Honestly, not really,” when asked about the aid given to Ukraine.


On December 17, one of the heaviest Russian artillery bombardments landed on the capital city Kyiv, Ukraine. Hitherto, it had been relatively untouched for 9 months. In Odessa, Ukraine, two Russian missiles had reportedly been intercepted with no casualties; a piece of good news during dark times.


As Christmas approached and passed, Ukrainian civilians faced uncertainty and danger while others around the world celebrated one of the most festive times of the year. Air raid alarms and shortages of electricity, phone service, and central heating have become the new normal in many Ukrainian cities like Kyiv. Orchestras practise with electrical lanterns, and parents pick up their children from school with flashlights.


Marc Santora with the New York Times commented that Valeria Mamysheva (20), a barista, looked exhausted from a recent air raid alarm, but instead of fleeing Ukraine, said that “there is no place better than home… I decided to stay here and support the economy”.


Ms. Maryna Musat (38) shares the same sentiment: “We all carry on despite the darkness.” The relatively ‘normal’ lives that Ukrainians lead—going to school, going to work—is no doubt a strong sign of their fortitude.


Restaurants carry on the best that they can with improvisation of simple menus: ‘kitchen with no lights’ (for power shortages) and ‘kitchen with generator’ at the Bursa Hotel’s cafe.


In October, returning nesting storks became a symbol of hope and life for the nation in turmoil.

 

Written by: Claire Lee

Edited by: Peggy Chen

Designed by: Davona Sanders

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