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πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ 24 February

Two years ago, on 24 February 2022, my pink-coloured bubble burst.

I'm sorry for not realising it before. That the war has been in my home the last 10 years.

That it became a part of mundane in my reality: To hear stories of my friend's Lysychansk summers, to live my university days along my quiet group mate from Donetsk, and to remember Crimea roadtrips with sadness – all while staying in my little world in Kyiv.

It all felt like a done deal. It was unthinkable. It happened somewhere else. 740km away (Lysychansk). 730km away (Donetsk). 930km away (Crimea).

Which is to say – I'm grateful with my life to every single person who kept that nightmare at bay. To every defender whose fight gave us years of cries and joy, of love, of growing up.

I'm grateful to every single person who does it to this day. To those who met occupiers at the border at 4am. To those who protected cities and its sleepy and panicking citizens. To those who brought freedom back to our people from occupied territories.

Without you, there would be no hope to drive us forward.

I grief for dreams and lives we were robbed of. Yet I do not grief for the illusions that "it will get solved somehow." The only people who can do it is ourselves. But I sure hope that the world remains there by our side.

Like Timothy Snyder put it, "In a strange way, because they've [Ukrainians] resisted so well, they are alone. They've lasted so long, and, therefore, they're alone."

Yes, it is unthinkable, yes, it's somewhere far away from you – but don't leave us alone. Show your support publicly. Donate to Ukrainian funds. Stay up to date with what's happening and context around it.

Because it's never a done deal. Ukrainian lives – our culture, history, our people – must go on.