When you, your husband and son wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning because of the sounds of explosions, you can’t even imagine that this is war. The war in the center of Europe, in the 21st century, in a peaceful, beautiful country. Only yesterday every woman here was making plans for herself and her family, waiting for spring and warmth to come, but today’s reality is that each of us have to survive, falling asleep and waking up to the sounds of explosions, cannonade and air raid sirens. Some of our women in order to save their children or old parents from danger were forced to travel up to 60 – 80 hours on unsafe roads to reach Western Ukraine and the western border.
Each day we can see young women with little kids on their arms trying to get on train at the Kiev railway station to move to the safe places. But there are not enough carriages for all. So, they have to live at the station for days in terrible conditions, expecting they have more luck the next day.
Many of us who have not moved to a safe place spend a lot of time in bomb shelters, or sleep at night on the bathroom floor or in the corridors of our apartments near the load-bearing walls. This is our reality now.
The heart of every Ukrainian woman shrinks from pain and anxiety for her family. But Ukrainian women always were strong and now they are standing shoulder to shoulder with men, fighting on the front lines against Russian aggression, doing volunteer work or crowdfunding.
The woman is a peacemaker by nature. That is why I appeal to you, the women of the world, to put the maximum efforts to stop this madness.
President of the YWCA of Ukraine
Kyiv, March 2 2022