Olena Synytsyna, Kyiv

Constant, wild anxiety for friends who remain in big cities. I called my friend who lives at Tatarka in Kyiv – today it is her son’s birthday, 21 years. One day, 11 years ago, we came to Kyiv from Simferopol together, rented a flat, and lived as one family – two single mothers and three boys.

Today Igor is 21. For three weeks, three Tatar families have lived together in a two-room flat not far from Lukyanivka that was recently shelled. Collected groceries in the shops and baked a cake)) I call.

Sweetheart, we’re sitting in the corridor; there’s an aid raid again.
Yes, but we’re eating the cake!

We’ve resided not far from Svaliava, in a remote village. Time was already frozen here 50 years ago. Baba Anya, who hosted us, suddenly calls to “Czechoslovakia”. She says her daughter lives there, and she herself worked there.

I: - Aunt Anya, Czechoslovakia collapsed. What is the wifi password?
Baba Anya, stubbornly: - I will call my daughter now.
In three minutes, she comes back with a patch of paper with a password.
Czechoslovakia exists.

Baba Anya:
Oh, what are you cooking?
I: I’m making borshch.
Baba Anya:
Imagine, child, not so long ago, a woman in our village was looking for accommodation. She came to a grandma who is 75 years old – it is around, so as we say, she was born before the advent of writing, thus no one knows her age. And so, this woman looks around the house and asks: “and who is going to cook here?”.
Grandma: well yourself
Woman: we thought volunteers would.
Grandma: volunteers are who? It’s those who are shooting??

Today baba Anya’s goat gave birth to three kids.