War in Ukraine, hell behind but winter ahead

One thinks: sooner or later, the nightmare will end. But no. Because horror digs into the heart, leaves deep marks. Chronicles from a front that is much deeper than rematches on the Kherson type field

  ukraine-today-47 Scenes of domestic life in Kiev between blackouts and anti-aircraft sirens

In the tragic days of Mariupol, I met a family who had fled the siege on foot. Olga, the mother, Vladimir, the father, Angelika and Misha the two children. Russians by language and ethnicity who had chosen Ukraine as their homeland. So said the passport. The parents in normal life had separated, but the bombs had convinced them to join forces to save their children. I met them who were safe in Zaporizhzhya. To my stupid question (what's left inside of these bad days?) the two children answered practically in the same way - video

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THE PINK JACKET - Misha was missing the four-propeller drone that he had to leave in the bombed-out house. Angelika, on the other hand, longed for a pink rabbit jacket, like a princess, she said, which at that hour was certainly under the rubble. «She made Me beautiful». Her mother Olga, as soon as she realized that her children weren't hearing her, said: «I pray that the children lack only those things, but I'm sure it's not true. They walked through a city at war, saw snipers who could shoot them, dead bodies on the streets, houses destroyed, parents unable to defend them. They have lost their innocence, their trust in the world. How can he miss a toy and a fur coat?».

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THE TRAUMAS OF THE LITTLE ONES – The traumas of war are deep, difficult to heal. Among the veterans of the Second World War (our fathers, our grandfathers) there were those who woke up after decades screaming. A twist of the mind, a nightmare, had brought them back into the fighting. More recent are the fears touched by the soldiers who participated in the 'peace missions' in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Firefights that have etched a notch on their consciences. War movies don't tell what's left inside. After. The protagonist gets up and, even if wounded, is gratified by his courage. Instead, explains the psychologist Tina Beradze, for the military 'war is an inner storm that changes them, almost always for the worse'. “Ukrainian soldiers are lucky because they easily justify what they do. Even if ugly. They have been attacked, they feel the duty to defend their families. It is something ancestral that absolves them.

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RAPE: EVEN THE PERMANENTS ARE VICTIMS – Instead, I think with compassion of the Russian soldiers. Not only those who bomb and for the rest of their life will have to avoid mentally seeing the results of their actions. No, I'm thinking of those who raped Ukrainian women. Rape is a weapon of war that destroys the cohesion of the society under attack, but also undermines that of the perpetrator in the long run. I don't want to be a woman in Russia in the next few years. Even the executioners are victims. Soldiers who raped in Ukraine will no longer be able to have healthy relationships with wives, daughters, even mothers. Raping an elderly woman, for example, breaks the incest taboo. Affection, roles, everything jumps. It doesn't matter if it was done by order or because the war had already undermined the mind.' War consumes inside for years. A 23-year-old boy, Ivan, who had worked with me right in the surrounded Mariupol, found the right words. Once rescued, Ivan wrote 'I still have to figure out if I'm human again'. During the bombing, having set aside the fear of dying because it was impossible to live in that state of constant terror, a feeling had crept into him from which he could not free himself even when his body was safe. Ivan couldn't accept that his life had no value to whoever was attacking his city. 'If a human being can strike me with the indifference, the constancy, the application with which a mosquito is swabbed, it means that I too am a mosquito'.

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SAFE BUT NOT HUMAN He was safe, but he still felt like an insect, not a man. The war in Ukraine is particularly cruel because the attacker speaks the same language as the one attacked, he has the same references in pop music, in TV quotes, in the cartoons he watched as a child. 'I can't get my self-respect back,' Ivan said. Fourteen million Ukrainians have experienced the shock of losing the safe haven of their home. During a blackout caused by bombing of Kiev, Iren Rozdobudko, a sixty-year-old writer, washes the dishes for dinner by candlelight. She was not raped, the apartment is intact. Yet she too must rediscover the faith that the world doesn't force her to feel the dark. She is to blame for the anti-aircraft sirens, nights in shelters, friends, relatives, loves killed by the war and now the cold and blackouts. Like Olga, Ivan and Iren there are 44 million Ukrainians. An entire country that, by now, has war inside.

Source: oggi.it