Ukraine’s new everyday life: life as if there was no war

Fierce battles are taking place in the regions of Kherson, Kharkiv and Donbass. And in towns and villages located just a few tens of kilometers from the front, people are trying to live a normal life. Not to mention Kiev and the western regions of Ukraine, which are hundreds of kilometers away from hostilities.

I am from Kharkiv region. My home village is under occupation. I lived and worked in Kharkiv for the last 15 years of my life. February 24 together with my wife and child we left the city that the Russians were trying to occupy.

From March 1 we live in Ternopil. It is a small regional center in Western Ukraine, a very beautiful and cozy city. The number of immigrants from the war zone makes up almost half of the population here. For this reason, housing is very expensive to rent here.

The children went to school

However, the schools that served as temporary housing for displaced persons in the spring are now empty.

Photo by Pavel Posochov/Refugees from the war zone used to live in the schools

The children went to school on the first of September. Without the Internet, kids carrying backpacks went to school and sat at desks like before. My son, who turned six at the end of the summer, also started first grade. Not in his native Kharkiv, but in Ternopil. But he goes to school every day and thankfully has almost no idea what war looks like.

Photo by Pavel Posochov/On September 1, schools in Ukrainian cities were filled with children

Photo by Pavel Posochov/On September 1, schools in Ukrainian cities were filled with children

Here, the echoes of war for children are air raid sirens. Sirens sound about once a day. If classes are held at that time, the children continue their studies in the bomb shelter of the school. This summer, the authorities recalled them for the first time in years. It was necessary to make at least minimal repairs and adapt the premises to the requirements of bomb shelters. For example, to install a second entrance to the hiding place and ventilation.

Pavel Posochov's photo/When air-raid sirens wail, children continue their studies in bomb shelters installed in schools.

Pavel Posochov’s photo/When air-raid sirens wail, children continue their studies in bomb shelters installed in schools.

Unfortunately, most schools’ shelters cannot accommodate all students at one time. Therefore, classes are held in several shifts. Younger students go to classes in the morning, middle school students in the afternoon, and older students in the evening. Or vice versa. So that everyone in the school can fit into the shelter in the event of an alarm.

Traffic jams in the city

In the mornings, when I take my child to school by car, I even have to stand in traffic. People are back in the city, taking their children to school, going to work. Even in Kharkiv, which is near the front line, public transport is working.

Photo by Pavel Posochov/Trolleybuses roll through the streets of Ternopil

Photo by Pavel Posochov/Trolleybuses roll through the streets of Ternopil

In Ternopil, public transport is working at full capacity. Previously, bus drivers had to stop when a weather warning sounded and only continued driving after the warning was cancelled, but now they are allowed to continue working even when there is a threat of weather.

Pavel Posochov's photo/Public transport works even when the weather warning sirens are wailing

Pavel Posochov’s photo/Public transport works even when the weather warning sirens are wailing

However, due to the danger of an air raid, shops, cafes and entertainment centers stop working. Visitors are asked to go to the nearest shelter. In early summer, despite weather warnings, public places were open. However, after enemy rockets hit the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchuk, killing several dozen people, the authorities took measures and now neither shopping nor dining is allowed during the danger.

Football without spectators

Football is not allowed to be played during a weather warning, at least for professional players. And at other times – please. After all, they were also given the opportunity to work. At the end of April, the possible start of the new season started.

In May, we started thinking about how to do this. Already in July, the athletes started preparing for the competition, and on the eve of August 24 (Ukrainian Independence Day), the teams played the first round of the new Ukrainian championship. All matches are played without spectators, and stadiums can only contain a minimum number of people: players, coaches and staff of both teams, referees, stadium staff and broadcasters.

Photo by Pavel Posochov/The first match of the Ukrainian Football Championship between Lviv

Photo by Pavel Posochov/The first match of the Ukrainian Football Championship between Lviv “Ruch” and Kharkiv “Metalist” was interrupted three times due to the threat of airstrikes.

Permission for each specific match is granted by local authorities and the military. A bomb shelter must be installed at or within a minimum distance of each stadium where the match is being played.

Divorces on August 24. matches played. The match between Lviv “Ruch” and Kharkiv “Metalist” was stopped three times due to the threat of air raids.

Three rounds have already been played. Most matches were not called off due to the dangers of air raids. Divorces on August 24. matches played. The match between Lviv “Ruch” and Kharkiv “Metalist” was stopped three times due to the threat of air raids. This match was not held in Kharkiv near the front line, but in Lviv, which is almost on the border with Poland. The players of both teams had to go down several times to the hiding places near the football field and share benches there. The match lasted 4 and a half hours instead of the usual 90 minutes.

Pavel Posochov's photo/During the first match of the Ukrainian football championship, the ball was kicked for the first symbolic time by a soldier who defended

Pavel Posochov’s photo/During the first match of the Ukrainian football championship, the ball was kicked for the first symbolic time by a soldier who defended “Azovstal” in Mariupol

Competitions have already started in all Ukrainian professional football divisions. Other sports are also preparing to start championships.

As if the war is somewhere far away

Here in Western Ukraine, you can take nature walks, go on excursions to local attractions, wander the city streets, and most of the time, no one will remind you of the war in the country. Of course, if in such moments you manage to clear your mind and not think about the war, not to think about the desire to return to your home, your city, which is under fire every day, to return to your parents’ house, which is under occupation.

Ordinary peaceful life, like in other European countries, goes on in the same way as before the war, as if there had been no war. But the war is on.

There are no movement restrictions during the day. But you can’t go out at night. From 23:00 until 5 o’clock in the evening morning curfew is in effect, only military and police patrol the streets. At that time, emergency services workers, critical infrastructure workers and a few taxis are allowed to move. They mainly transport people to and from the train station. Trains usually run at night. And a train ticket is permission to go outside during curfew.

But apart from the air-raid sirens (some days there are none at all) and the curfew, there is nothing in the country that reminds us of war. Ordinary peaceful life, like in other European countries, goes on in the same way as before the war, as if there had been no war. But the war is on.

Ukrainians remember him, even those who live in cities far from the war. Because it seems that there is not a single Ukrainian left who has not been touched by this war.

I think that the inhabitants of other European countries should not forget this war. Conclusions will probably have to be drawn after Ukraine’s victory. And now just don’t forget that not far away, in Ukraine, there is a war going on. Just in case.


Source: 15min.lt – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt.

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