One Morning, After a Fitful Sleep

October 10; 229th day of the war.

This Monday in Ukraine started with yet another massive missile strike.

07:30 am: air raid alerts all over the continental area of Ukraine. All 24 regions are labeled red on the map. Red means danger. Metaphorically, I see it like all Ukrainian regions, without exception, feel embarrassed for the aggressor country.

We are not afraid of Russia, even though we know for a fact that missiles are on their way to ruin our lives.

For over seven months of the big war, we have seen the Russian army destroy museums, theaters, churches, libraries, and schools. They have killed civilians in humanitarian convoys, shopping malls, and queues for bread and medicine…

Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Khmelnytskyi, Zhytomyr, Lviv, Mykolayiv, Kyiv…

This morning’s list is not complete.

Sumy region, Lviv region, Kyiv region, Odesa region…

Too many locations to list here.

At 2 pm, the General Staff reports that Russia deployed 84 cruise missiles and 24 unmanned aerial vehicles.

56 of them have been downed.

The rest have destroyed another bit of our life.

A large share of my life is connected with Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University. It was there that I studied, defended my thesis, and worked. I have known this place and loved it for a total length of fourteen years. It’s a local landmark and a tourist photo spot, its red building grabbing the attention of passers-by.

Very nice.

“It’s a perfect place to live,” we dreamed as students. “There’s a park and opera next to it, a theater and a bookstore, and many, many museums.”

“Hi there, Max,” we’d say, nodding at the Maksymovych Scientific Library, where we spent countless hours.

We are driving through Kyiv downtown. It’s impossible to find a free parking spot here, even during the war. We make a few rounds from the opera house to the University’s red building and back to St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral.

“I love this place. Here’s our scientific library,” I say to my husband, talking about Volodymyrska street.

“Me too,” he says. “It’s right next to the university.”

The crossroads we’re talking about is next to my alma mater, Shevchenko University, and close to Drahomanov University, where my husband studied. If someone asked me to name a location in Kyiv with the biggest concentration of culture and history, I would name this one — the crossroads next to Shevchenko University.

This morning, the lives of people walking or driving to work through that crossroads were cut short — the lives of Kyivers, who woke up in a war-torn country. The windows of Shevchenko University and the scientific library blasted out. A crater was left gaping in the middle of the street in the heart of Kyiv — like a black hole pierced in each of us. People who were out doing some errands are now tragically dead.

The philharmonic society, the university, the library, and several museums have been damaged as a result of the missile strike in Kyiv downtown.

Today, on October 10, Russia’s Ministry of Defense reported: “The Russian armed forces launched a massive strike with a long-range high-precision weapon against the military command, communication, and energy facilities of Ukraine.

Mission has been accomplished.

All targeted facilities have been destroyed.”=

One Morning, After a Fitful Sleep-1

Author: Svitlana Stretovych, Ukrainian essayist, program director of Litosvita

Translator: Hanna Leliv

Illustrator: Victoria Boyko

Content Editor: Maryna Korchaka

Program Directors: Julia Ovcharenko and Demyan Om Dyakiv Slavitski