During the two years of this war, my childish illusions that a miracle will someday happen – that soon all this will end and we will live as before – have dissipated. 

I recently took the high-speed train from Kyiv to Lutsk. Four hours later, I got off at Zdolbuniv where my dad was waiting to meet me. He is preparing to join the army and spending time together now is important and meaningful.

Since childhood, my father has been my protector – the strongest, the best, and the smartest of all. He is one of two men very dear to me, the other being my ex-husband Andriy. In 2022, 


Andriy also took the decision to enlist as it was hard for him to remain as a civilian photographer. Now he’s a press officer. We have divorced, but he’s still part of my life.

I cried when Andriy said “I'm going to the army,” but now I'm proud that my dad will also fight. I'm proud of his courage and willingness to follow his path despite his age. I really hope that he'll cope and that everything will be fine with him.

This is my personal story. Yet, almost every day, there are changes in the families of so many Ukrainians. They don't know what will happen next. We can all only believe in the best and support our loved ones.

Now there is a new stage in our army and in our society. We have to grow up. What Ukrainians are going through now, only Ukrainians can understand. 

No one else can take responsibility for the course of the war.There are, of course, those volunteers from the armies of other states who come to fight for us. To them, I am indebted.


The bonds that unite us

For me, maturing means accepting reality as it is. The time has almost come for my father to go into service. I will support him as much as I can. In the remaining time before he goes, we spend precious moments together, talk a lot, and try to stay in the moment.

While my dad is busy collecting and preparing documents, he has some time for me and other loved ones. After two years of the war, I can definitely say that I can no longer afford emotional outbursts and worries. I don't want to think about what will happen next.

This is my growing up experience – to accept reality without illusions, and to accept what each day will bring and see each positive moment as a godsend.

Spending time with my father now brings great joy for me. When he was working at an industrial enterprise, he couldn’t simply leave at his convenience. He was tied to his work and was always on call and resolving emergencies. Before the war, we would traditionally meet for birthdays, during the Easter or Christmas holidays, and for summer vacations.


Since the beginning of the war, we have seen each other only once - when I visited for Easter last year. Therefore, now, at a new stage in his life, I am trying to clear my mind, pick up the pieces and support him.

Finding new ways to support loved ones

On the basis of my own experience, volunteering has changed now because almost every family has someone who serves, and people raise money for their relatives, loved ones and close friends.

It is a fact that the war has entered the home of almost every Ukrainian citizen through loved ones who serve in the army, those who have died in the war, those who have returned from the front, or those who have been in service since 2014 (oh, how we understand them now!).

Therefore, it becomes more difficult to collect money, as everyone raises funds for the unit where their relatives, friends or acquaintances serve. On the one hand, this seems as it should be. On the other hand, it hurts to see the wife of a soldier frantically posting on social networks collecting for her husband in Bakhmut. The collection moves slowly because people from her circle are unable to donate regularly.


In my opinion, in this case, it is necessary to change how we organize donations. We must get creative with fundraising.

That's why people have started to invent something – painting weapons, looking for flags with the signature of Zaluzhny or Kyrylo Budanov (chief of Defense Intelligence) and involving artists, athletes and celebrities. A post on Facebook or Instagram will no longer work.

There are a million such collections, and our attention is scattered with numerous requests. Tears will not help us either – our people are already saturated with pain and grief. Almost every day, we see tragic news on social networks about the injuries or deaths of our soldiers.

It is a protective function of the human psyche to adapt to such conditions. But what about the mental state of our fighters?

We have no time for doubts and tears – we need a result. Therefore, before one of my concerts, I organized a collection for a family that my friend knew. I wanted to try and help them somehow.

Before the performance, I put together some auction lots, including Ukrposhta stamps with my photos dedicated to the release of Mari Cheba's new single “Tyagne.” I also asked someone to paint an RPV thermobaric rocket launcher.

We searched for help among friends, but everyone was busy. Only one military wife, for whom we, together with Ukrainian writer Lyubko Deresh once gave a charity performance in Irpin in 2022, volunteered to help. She did it because she understands what an urgent collection means for those at the front, and she also raises donations.


She is not a public figure – she knows only her friends, relatives, neighbors, parents of children at school at best. But if the war had not cost her so much, she would not have asked anyone for anything.

We collected Hr. 56,000 ($1,450) at the concert, and this boosted the collection and helped us raise the needed some much faster. It was a real miracle for Yulia and her husband –strangers chose to help them just like that.

I have a question to fellow Ukrainians: “Can you become a miracle for an unfamiliar family just like that?” Yes, you can, if you can unite around some creative idea.

I'm writing this in the village of Pyatyhory in the Rivne region. I’m now in my father's house, where he was born. When I think about what will be next for you, I want to believe that you can also take your fate into your own hands.


I also believe that “the one who walks will master the road.”This path is not just my father's or mine. This is the path of my entire people, and we are a small part of it. We have to move together, in unison.


The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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