Tag: Olena Stiazhkina

Kyiv. March 27, 2022

After the Victory, someone will have to talk. It won’t be me. I don’t want to talk after the Victory, and I won’t be able to.

Kyiv. March 26, 2022

Cafés, bakeries, and small farmer markets are open in Kyiv. I have a list of things the territorial defense forces need, and I can easily get all of them at a supermarket.

Kyiv. March 24, 2022

All my friends, close and distant, often (in fact, all the time) talk about a deep sense of shame.

Kyiv. June 29, 2022

There are old and new notices pasted on the entrance door of our apartment block in Obolon neighborhood. One of the old ones says, “Door slamming sounds like an explosion.” It could be the opening line of a poem.

Kyiv. June 26, 2022

Coolly jumped onto the bed, pulled the blanket, and, biting my daughter’s leg, dragged her to the corridor. The dog’s hind legs were trembling separately from her front ones. Coolly led our entire family into the corridor and then went to the bathroom and lay down on the floor under the sink, quietly waiting until the airstrike warning was lifted.

Kyiv. June 25, 2022

There are ‘stranded’ messages on my phone. ‘Frozen’ questions: “How are you?” Once in ten days, I send them again. Then again. And again. Sometimes, they come alive as a call or text message. But most of them are still frozen. Sending another message feels like jumping off the cliff without knowing what’s down under — rocks or water.

Kyiv. June 21, 2022

Instead of saying his first words, our little one copies the sound of the air raid siren. He copies it exactly as it is, note for note. Quiet, then louder, then again quiet, and again louder. After the war, I’ll send him to music school. I can see his talent. No, I can hear it.

Kyiv. June 16, 2022

My older boy went to war, I knew what could happen. My chances of seeing him back alive equaled…my chances of seeing him dead. From day one, I knew where he would be if he didn’t return. I had a place for both of us. A horrible, dark, damp place for myself — and a warm, shining place for him.

Kyiv. June 13, 2022

A German historian said that Ukrainians were fighting with irony and elegance. I get what he means. He’s talking about our desperate jokes, memes, cartoons, songs, and photos of school proms among the school ruins.
But I am not sure I can let him say this.