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Sorry not sorry: Mr. Putin, we are taking you down together

Olexandra Zakharova
Project manager The Page, political columnist

I cannot say that during these days my world has changed forever but there was a feeling that I have been trained for these events all my life. All the stories about the Second World War, all the books that I have absorbed since childhood, all the lessons at school—thank you, Lidiia Hryhorivna, for the detailed reading of the memoirs of those who eyewitnessed the fighters for an independent Ukraine 100 years ago, thank you, Henadii Anatoliiovych ('you can just call me Vitrik' and' Harry Potter taught children reading'). They taught us critical thinking—question everything, including your own opinion, this gives a chance to develop intelligence.

Thanks for the math ('it develops the brain in different directions'), geography, law classes, English that allows us to more or less understand the texts of foreign media. Thanks to our history teachers who set us homework to compare the textbook and the Great Soviet Encyclopedia in history. Think, think, only you are building this country.

All this eventually led to the fact that, in addition to Ukrainian literature, I like Stephen King—'For the great Ukrainian writer Stephen King' (c) film Cyborgs—I make games based on David Lynch (thank you, Mr. Lynch, for being with us) and literally 10 days before the active combat phase, we managed to plunge into the politics of London in 1941.

If you do not understand what it is, I will explain: in Scandinavian schools, for example, role-playing games are used during studies to simulate various situations. We also had this. For example, we were assigned roles and in these roles we had to be judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and defendants. This is how we dealt with the theme of the death penalty. Discussions—after the game, after you make your first verdict.

A game on the Second World War is a deepening into the characters of those times. This is a story about hard decisions and heavy casualties, it is, citing Churchill:

Quote'When you are offered to choose who to kill—your mother or your sister'.

And you know you have to make that choice. But that was just a game. Then the Russian invasion began.

During these days, I really needed all this knowledge, because I had to:

  • stand in long queues during air raids because the people who work at home and we ourselves need food;
  • distribute lunch and dinner to fighters;
  • drag things that the territorial defense units bring—"socks have arrived! socks are important! grab the carts urgently!";
  • to explain to Novosibirsk briefly with a historical enlightenment what Ukraine is and why they simply don’t get it where they came;
  • search for specific medicines, transport, money, etc. through volunteer chats and bots;
  • expand and consolidate the chain of connections to cities and countries, especially when it is needed to evacuate someone out of the danger zone;
  • calm the panicked people who are stuck in Zakarpattia and cannot go abroad;
  • explain to Russians again where to read the real news;
  • share a poem about a Russian ship and get the study guide "when you bombed Donbas 8 years ago!" in response;
  • constantly monitor everything and try not to drown in the number of reposts and delete fakes;
  • to control myself when those who do not wake up from shaking walls and explosions or shootings panic;
  • calm down those who shout "I do nothing/I do little/I feel guilty';
  • communicate with people in the queue—ordinary civilians who have been standing for two hours after the curfew began, because this is a pharmacy—the heroic guy worked for three days in a row, even during the curfew, so that people in the district would not be left without medicines;
  • get it in the neck after that from the local territorial defense units "civilian, go home!"—"One pharmacy in the district, guys, I'm already hiding!"
  • other if necessary…

At the same time, there has been a certain acceptance. During the first days, it was difficult to wake up from the horrors that I see with my own eyes or hear about the death of loved ones. Now that feeling is on hold. Emotional state is stabilized, even anger subsided a little. And there is a firm belief that Ukraine will win. It is impossible to defeat the people when teenagers make Molotov cocktails, hack Russian propaganda sites, grandmothers cook food for "kittens" (this is about our fighters) on an industrial scale with one working hand, volunteers rescue abandoned domestic and street animals, dogs chase saboteurs right to the hands of the territorial defense units and already know how to hide in bomb shelters. My cat has opened a home psychotherapy center because he walks around and hugs everyone in turns. People, everything will be Ukraine.

Indeed, our entire history prepared us for this. Moscow will choke. Sorry not sorry, Mr. Putin.

Quote'Patience is the fate' of all who have to deal with the Kremlin', wrote Winston Churchill.

But, boys and girls (as well as other identities), patience is over. Ukrainians are militarized from a child to a grandfather who sent tens of thousands of dollars to the army. To the grandmothers who beat the saboteur with rolling pins. You have come to a place where you are not just not welcome. Where are you—the image of the new Nazis, the new Hitler of this era. Ukrainians are angry, but they only want one thing—get the hell out, you can't survive here. Or surrender immediately, it is not that scary, our units will feed you and let you call your mother on the phone.

QuoteYour blitzkrieg failed. Your missions were not fulfilled. You can lie to Putin to the last, but you have already lost this war. Understand it.

Understand, I’ll explain in a few bullet points. No legitimate Yanukovych will suddenly sit on the throne and lead the people of Ukraine, because the people of Ukraine govern themselves. But, of course, we are waiting, there are a couple of questions. Is President Zelenskyy doing everything right? Okay, well done, here are our hearts on FB. So far, you are the right man in the right place.

Read the history of the Zaporizhzhia Sich, read how they first smeared the hetman with mud and then (if he failed) showered stones on him. We have freedom in our blood, and not dictatorship. Just get it, Russians.

Quote'Sleep calmly, dear Russians, sleep, the chimes are not tolling for you'—we have been singing this song of your band Zimovye Zverey, with one specified word, since 2014. And you should listen to it, too.

Ukrainians, we have never been stronger. West, reread history. Turn on bloody Netflix and watch the film Munich. It's new. Don't be slow on the uptake. They didn't even plan to stop in Ukraine. They got busted on all fronts.Get involved. Ukraine is definitely "involved" already. We know you can hear us. But do more. Stop shaking. We're holding on. Everything will be UA.

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