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Nataliia Steblyna: Everyone is important in the war against Putin

February 27, 2022 6:30 amby Nataliia Steblyna
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KYIV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 26: Firefighters work by a damaged apartment building in Kyiv which was hit by a recent shelling during RussiaГўs military intervention in Ukraine, on February 26, 2022. Sirens blared in the Ukrainian capital on Saturday morning following reports of Russian troops clashing with Ukrainian forces in Kyiv streets throughout the night. (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

As I write this, Kyiv defenders are fighting on the streets and on the outskirts of the city. A Russian missile hit a residential apartment. There are air raid alerts in Vinnytsya, Kherson, Cherkasy, Kharkiv, Lviv, Rivne, Lutsk, air strikes in Uman’. Chernihiv is preparing for street fights. The Ministry of Internal Affairs sent instructions for every Ukrainian citizen to make ‘Molotov’ cocktails.

In Odesa people woke up because of air defense: our border guards were bringing down some drone-scouts along the Black Sea coast. There is almost no place in Ukraine, where people can feel safe. And everyone should be ready to confront enemy.

Therefore, I’m asking myself, what can I do with all this hell on my beloved and peaceful land. How can I protect my colleagues, my students and all my compatriots from Russian rockets, jets and helicopters, Grads and Uragans.

What everyone can do to help Ukraine, to save our civilization, democratic values and to stop Putin. I don’t know how to fire, but I know how to write. I have friends abroad. And I can ask everyone to help. Because everyone is important. Everyone can contribute. 

Here in Ukraine, we will be repeating this over and over again: Russia’s war isn’t only about our country. This is about all of us. Because of Russian hybrid warfare everyone, who values freedom, democracy and
justice, is a potential target. Thus, we should stand together. Please, don’t be indifferent. Contribute. Even small steps may be significant. We will win the war against Putin all together.

What can you do?
— Please, join pro-Ukrainian rallies all over the world or organize solidarity events  in your town or city. Mobilize your friends, colleagues, all people who care. Ask your government, politicians to increase sanctions, isolate Russia, impose oil embargo. Russian society should realize that invasion was a harmful mistake. Putin, his allies and generals are enemies not only for Ukraine, but for Russia and the whole free world as well. They must be stopped, jailed and judged by international tribunal afterwards. 
— You may help Ukrainian military – donate any sum to Ukrainian charitable foundation "Come Back Alive." Ukrainians all over the country help their defenders with money, blood, food, medicine. Join them.
— Check information about Ukraine, don’t spread Putin’s nonsense. There are no Nazi’s anti-retreat units in Ukrainian army. Men and women are standing in queues to recruitment offices in the West, in the East, in the South and in the North of my country voluntarily. There are severe casualties among Russian invaders - 3500 according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. Russian military do target civilian objects. According to Amnesty International, ‘the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been marked by indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas and strikes on
protected objects such as hospitals’. 
— And just pray for Ukraine’s victory, Ukrainian defenders with us. We will feel this and this will help, too.

At 5 a.m. two days ago we were terrified. Blasts were reported in many Ukrainian cities and towns. And we still couldn’t believe that Russians would do this to us. However, our military started to fight back. They were prepared, they were strong and unbreakable. And so do we now. This is our land. We will fight for it in any way possible. However, it’s hard to do it alone. Please, lend Ukraine a shoulder. Let’s stop darkness, despair, fear, injustice, death. Let’s stop Putin together.

Author:  Nataliia Steblyna

Nataliia Steblyna is a media researcher and professor at the department of journalism at Odesa Mechnikov National University.

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