My wife and I came down early again this morning. On the stairs, a large icon with the Madonna and the child Jesus is placed in a window recess. We go around the building despite the curfew to spot any signs of sabotage. Nothing new.
We pass quickly to the school of our son (whom we sent to his grandparents in the countryside). Several children are there because the parents are tired of the anguish of the subway or the tears in the apartments. The mistress makes the worried brats sandwiches for the soldiers on patrol. We’re going to get some slices of ham from our house.
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Here in Kiev, we begin to hope that things will go towards the end. That the city’s resistance deterred the Russians. We are talking about street fights. We don’t see any, but gunshots, yes, there are! Rockets, machine guns, crying children… These are the new sounds of the city.
“Young soldiers arrive in Ukraine without even knowing where they are. Many testimonials say they believe they are still practicing. »
Many Russian spies lived here undercover. Several cases are reported to us of Ukrainians helping the Russians. In the west, near Zhitomir, I am told that they arrested four spies who were scouting, two Ukrainians from Crimea and two young Ukrainian women. They were beaten up. Then taken to the police station.
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We speak above all of the Russian dead. The Red Cross has organized a center which will allow Russian families to have news of their missing. Young people who arrive in Ukraine without even knowing where they are. Many testimonies say that these soldiers believe they are still in exercise. But the Russian authorities are raising their voices. Russian civilians in the border regions and especially soldiers on operations are forbidden to help the Ukrainians under penalty of prosecution for high treason. Twenty years in prison.
We share, crying, a WhatsApp message showing a babushka from Kherson handing sunflower seeds to Russian soldiers “ You are cursed to have come here. When you’re dead on this earth, these sunflowers will grow on your remains. »
“Rumors are multiplying: 10,000 Chechens are preparing to jump on the outskirts of Kiev – Alas probable! Other rumors are crazier: the Duma will launch an “impeachment” procedure against Putin! Belarus will rise up! »
Dozens of men are returning from the West. They have dropped off their families as close as possible to the border and are coming back to fight. They are furious at having been taken for cowards.
Rumors multiply: 10,000 Chechens are preparing to jump on the outskirts of Kiev – Alas probable! Other rumors are crazier: the Duma will launch a procedure “toimpeachment against Putin! Belarus will rise up! The oligarchs “unleash” Putin!
My friends from France or Germany ask me if we are afraid; no, we are no longer afraid. Hate has replaced fear. They tell us to leave, to leave Kiev; no, we don’t want to leave. We have a soul of heroes, we are a country, a heart. Have you seen my people? He tripped Russia? The US held out for 20 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. One must keep. All of this will be over one day.
The day was calm. The calm before the storm ?