“We want to fall into a deep sleep and wake up when Ukraine has won the war”

By Elisa Mignot

Posted today at 7:21 p.m., updated at 7:33 p.m.

Tuesday March 22

Olga: This morning again, I talked a lot with my grandmother. Sometimes, when I’m really not well, she consoles me when she’s the one in the middle of a war! She is incredible. She tells me important things about me, my family, where I come from. I think I need it for the future. Tonight, dark thoughts are lurking in my head, I start to pray. I, who have never been a practitioner, now pray every day.

Sasha: The days are getting so monotonous. I wake up late, I do things at home, I watch the news. I go to bed very late, when there are no more sirens. The feeling of lasting war overwhelms me. Hatred against Russia grows mathematically. How are we going to get rid of all this hate? Are we all going to have to go to the shrink for years after the war? We will have to work on our consciences for a long time. I’ve started two novels, but I can’t really concentrate. On the other hand, I read a book on the history of Ukraine, it does me good.

Wednesday March 23

Olga: I write in the metro on my way to the store. For the umpteenth time, I think back to this plan: to join my family to take my grandmother and my aunt to the south, to my grandmother’s sister. It’s quiet there – well, for now – and it’s not far from the European border. Then I would come back to Kyiv [Kiev, M respecte le choix orthographique d’Olga et de Sasha] to be with mine. It’s completely absurd but I feel like I would be in control of the situation much better, that I could do more things than them, as if I had more power than my relatives there… And at the same time , I tell myself that it would be selfish to leave because by staying in France, I offer them an emergency exit and support. I know it. Despite everything, if I didn’t have anyone, if I didn’t have my companion, Yanis, in France, I would have already left. I imagine that if I tell my family about this project, they will say no, that’s for sure. But I’m starting to think about a date for plane tickets to Poland.

Read also: War in Ukraine, live: a humanitarian operation in Mariupol is not possible “at this stage”, announces the Elysée; Moscow says it wants to reduce its military activity in the kyiv region

Sasha: We had a curfew all day. So I cleaned up and after that, nothing. Oh yes ! A few steps in the yard. Without physical activity, fatigue takes hold of us faster. We wake up already tired, it’s unbearable. In fact, we want to fall into a deep sleep and wake up when Ukraine has won the war. My iPhone suggests photos from March 23, 2021. With Y., a year ago to the day, we were at the “sea” of Kyiv. That’s what we call the Vyshgorod reservoir, a kind of artificial lake in the Kyiv region. Over there, there are fights now. That morning, I remember that I had taken my Italian course with my friend A., who is now a refugee in Italy with her daughter. I lived in the city center, I played sports, I worked… There, I am online Instagram accounts of shrinks, nutritionists, sports coaches… They give us advice to preserve our mental and physical health in situation of war.

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