“I manage to fill the bathtub with water and I light battery-powered lamps and candles”

Olga and Sasha are two Ukrainian sisters. The first is 35 years old and is a wine merchant in Paris, where she has lived for seven years. The second, aged 33, lives in kyiv with her parents and grandmother. The two sisters have accepted, since the beginning of the conflict, to keep their logbook to Mr. This week, Olga is worried about Russian attacks targeting power plants all over Ukraine. In kyiv, Sasha faces a blackout. However, both are delighted that the European Parliament has officially qualified Russia as a “State supporting terrorism”.

Tuesday, November 22

Olga: Today I had a drink with N., the former director of the French Institute of Kyiv [Kiev, en ukrainien], with whom I worked several years ago. N. left Kyiv at the start of the occupation. She made it to the border with Romania and she was able to get out of Ukraine in a few hours. Her first months in France, she gave French lessons to refugees. Afterwards, she found a job in the field of training. It impressed me. Among the Ukrainians I know, she is not the only one who has found a good job in a European country. It makes me proud.

Sasha: These last few days are the anniversary of our two revolutions – of 2004 and 2014. I think back to what I hoped for at the time. To our desire to take our place in the European Union, to our fatigue of living in a country with a corrupt government, managed like a puppet by Russia [Olga et Sasha ont choisi de ne pas mettre de majuscule à « poutine », « russe » et « russie »]. I remember my naivety, but I felt the nation being born. Now she has become strong and independent. I’m proud of how far we’ve come. We must not lose this awareness of ourselves and of all that we have learned to build our future life, without the Russians.

Around me, many people are wondering with pain and nostalgia if, since the Maidan started in November 2013, we could have avoided this war. Is this the hard destiny we have to face to show the world what our country is? To what extent its history, its culture have been underestimated and considered as subcategories of those of Russia?

Some of my video lessons are canceled because my students have the electricity cut off. For me, it’s more rare. My apartment is not on the list of planned cuts. I think it’s thanks to the military hospital next door.

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