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Kateryna Brazhuk



How did you experience war in 2014? What do you remember from that? How old were you? How did 2014-2015 go for you?
Please tell this story in detail.

At the beginning of the invasion of the Ukrainian territory in 2014, I was in the village with my grandmother. I was 10 years old and I could not imagine what war was like. The village was temporarily occupied by the "DPR" troops, the communication channel was intercepted and only Russian news was playing on the TV. I remember seeing tanks passing through the streets, hearing propaganda, the sounds of explosions and landings, constant news that a shell had exploded somewhere not far from where we were. My grandmother did not want to take me and my younger brother home to Mariupol, because there was shelling of the districts happening there and it was quite dangerous. I really didn't want to stay in the occupied territory and I missed spending time with my friends and at home with my family.

"Where were you these 8 years?".
How has this time passed for you, what changed in your life since the events of 2014?
What has influenced you the most during this time?
Please write in detail.

In my opinion, not much attention was paid to the topic of the war in Donbas and the annexation of Crimea all these 8 years, but this did not hinder the rise of public conscience in every Ukrainian. As a teenager, I studied the history of my country, actively talked about the war, “Ukrainianized” my life and openly expressed my thoughts. Mentally, I grew in a patriotic aspect, because I like my country, its language and its diversity.

What was February 24, 2022 for you like?
Did you believe that a full-scale offensive would begin?Where are you now? What do you do?

What do you think about your future now?

Until the very end, I did not want to believe that war had knocked on the door of my country, my home. Already on February 19-20, I woke up to the fact that the mirror in my room almost fell from the window sill. I opened the window and heard fairly loud explosions on the outskirts of our district. It was very scary, I began to panic, immediately contacted my friends and went to work as usual, thinking that it would pass. On the morning of February 24, shelling began in my area. I quickly gathered all the necessary things and went to my girlfriend's house, because I was too afraid to stay. Then I spent 2 weeks of the war in the corridor with load-bearing walls on the second floor of the house (my family did not believe that the war had started and that it was necessary to hide or leave the city).  Now I am forced to temporarily reside in the territory of Crimea, because this is the only place where I could run away to, taking into account the fact that I was fleeing the war alone. Currently I am actively shedding light on the topic of war, running an Instagram page and reposting news, giving advice to Ukrainian soldiers and families who are left in very difficult life circumstances, and projecting my thoughts into creativity. The topic of the future is quite difficult to me, there are a lot of problems that have fallen on my head like shells, and I have a serious life choice to make, but I continue to believe in a peaceful sky, the return of all territories to my country, and that I will see my friends, return to my motherland and native home.

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