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  • Dariia Pasko

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TRIGGER WARNING – This article contains information about violence, sexual assault and references to the nature of war. Some readers may find the article disturbing.

OPINION DISCLAIMER – the opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They so not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Caper Times

Who are you if you shoot civilians from tank point-blank? Civilians who were waving a white flag and evacuating their children:

“In the Kharkiv region, a Russian tank shot down a car with a family of two children. The family shouted that they were civilians, waving a white flag, but in vain. Parents and a 9-year-old girl were killed and a 17-year-old boy was injured.” Office of the Attorney General

How did your mother raise you if you on purpose bombard people who were in a line to buy groceries?

“Repetition of yesterday's case in the Kharkiv supermarket. The occupiers aimed at a store in Severodonetsk

We have dead and wounded, the number is being clarified.

Orcs cynically take the lives of Ukrainians!

Specially aimed at the queue!

People just came for the products…” Head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration Serhiy Gaidai.

How will you explain why you attacked the maternity hospital?

“Medical facilities and workers have been repeatedly hit by Russian forces since their invasion of Ukraine, despite this being against the rules of war. The World Health Organization (WHO) listed 43 verified attacks as of March 17.” CNN Special Report

And these are only a few russian war crimes in Ukraine. Office of the Attorney General has recorded more than 2000 of them to prove to the whole world – this is a genocide.

Brutally killing civilians, destroying infrastructure and cultural heritage, raze cities to the ground, and drown the country into tears and blood. Russians can keep doing that until there is nothing left, but they will never kill nor destroy our nation, our will to fight and to die for freedom and for our land.

Do you know what is Ukrainian Syndrome? It is when you blame yourself that you are not in Ukraine right now; it is when you blame yourself that you are not fighting russian troops and that you are just living somewhere abroad.

I blame myself every day for that. I did not do enough to prevent that and I cannot do enough to stop that. I was not with my family when the first rockets destroyed buildings and now I cannot take all of them away from death under artillery fire. From a rational perspective, blaming yourself for something that you cannot control does not make sense and I bet you think I am crazy for doing that. Maybe I am, but when you have to find a way to take at least part of your family to Canada, solve financial issues, get a part-time and permanent job, find a way to sponsor your education, be ready to never come home, never see your some of your friends and continue to work and to study at CBU when you just turned 19 in December – it is hard, but not impossible.

Many of my friends here asked: “Why don’t you take a break from work? Or email your professors to delay the assignments?”. I always laughed. Not because they said that but because I knew – if I stop, I would never be able to get back. Not only in terms of immigration (can affect receiving a post-graduate work permit), also as a person. I am already not there, so I have to do everything I can to survive here. Life seemed to be so secure, I never questioned my future, because I knew that I had my people waiting for me at home in case something bad happens. My home, where I was born, where I grew up, where I first fell in love, where I met my best friend, where I learned how to write, how to drive, how to spend the best summers in my life. And I cannot believe, I still cannot believe that on Thursday 24th of February it was all taken away. Just like that.

Being Ukrainian does not mean having a Ukrainian passport. It means being a part of a nation that fights for its freedom since the beginning of its existence and starts its hymn with words: “We will lay down our souls and bodies for our freedom…”


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