“The Russians would have increased their presence in Ukraine. Everyone is talking about a new attack on kyiv. It makes my blood run cold”

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 “M”. This week, Olga tries to save herself somehow from news from the front, while Sasha, who has started working as a fixer for a French journalist, travels to Brovary, on the outskirts of kyiv, where a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten.

Tuesday, January 17

Olga: I get up and see hundreds of posts about the Dnipro attack. It’s a very hard blow for our morale. I also learn some astonishing news: Arestovych, Zelensky’s adviser whom I listen to so often, has resigned. In his last speech on Saturday, he speculated that the Dnipro tragedy was caused by the debris of a Russian missile intercepted by Ukrainian anti-aircraft protection. We learned afterwards that this was not the case at all. But the “Russian trash” (understand the propagandists) immediately took up his words, as did the Ukrainian opposition. In the Ukrainian media and networks there was a flurry of accusations against Arestovych. I’m very afraid that this could do damage, not just to him, but to our ability to hold on. We have to stay united.

Sasha: A month and a half of winter has passed. I look at the calendar as if it could hasten spring and the end of the war. I follow the news on the relief operations in Dnipro, the collection of donations for the families of the victims, I discover the testimonies of people who have survived. A resident says that in 2014 he had to leave the Donetsk region because of the war that was starting in the Donbass, then he moved with his family to Kherson, which he had to flee during the Russian occupation, and now in Dnipro, that this missile destroyed his apartment and seriously injured his wife. He remains very calm in front of the camera, I am amazed. How is it ?

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A friend told me Time with Zelensky on the cover, she bought it during a trip to Berlin. I spend my afternoon reading these ten double pages on him and on Ukraine. I am crossed by emotions, from nervous laughter to tears. Our fiftieth “journal” in M is approaching, as is the day that will mark the first year of full-scale war. I plan to reread everything. Sometimes it seems to me that January 2022 was in another life and that I have never known anything other than my life since February 24th.

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