“Ukraine is today the most mined country in the world. It is said that it will take five years to clear all the territory after the victory”

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. Both have agreed, since the beginning of the conflict, to keep their logbook to M. This week, while new massive bombings have targeted several cities including the capital, Olga and Sasha see looming, with a sense of dejection, the first anniversary of the Russian invasion.

Tuesday, January 24

Olga: I actively resumed the sport. As you know, the holidays leave their mark!

We are going to the theater tonight with Yanis [son compagnon], it’s Ukrainian dramaturgy week at the Lavoir Moderne in Paris. All plays are directed by my friend Macha Isakova. Tonight there is Slava Heroyam (Glory to the heroes), by Pavlo Arie. This is the story of two heroes of World War II who find themselves in the same room of a hospital for veterans. But, while one was in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the other was in the Red Army. So they were fighting against each other. The actors are more of a reading, they had very little time to rehearse, but there are so many emotions on their faces that it’s magnificent! When the light comes back on, the whole room has tears in their eyes, I am no exception, Yanis either. After the performance there is a discussion with Iryna Chuzhynova, a well-known theater critic in Ukraine. She says that the Ukrainian theaters continue to be active during the war, even those in the South and the East, which work in the basements. At the end of his speech, a man begins to say that we must not forget Russian culture, not separate two Slavic peoples… It’s unbearable. I share 200% the response of my friend Macha who translates the exchanges: “After the war, when the Russians [Olga et Sasha ont choisi de ne pas mettre de majuscule à « russe », « russie » et « poutine »] will have paid for what they have done, we will perhaps think of reintegrating Russian culture in Ukraine. »

Sasha: After eleven months of full-scale warfare, it feels like years have passed since February 24. In the media and on social networks, you can see retrospectives of the conflict. I am flabbergasted by the numbers that are given. For example, Ukraine is today the most mined country in the world. It is impossible to know the number of Ukrainians threatened by this danger, but before February 24, 1.8 million inhabitants lived on the current front line. How many regions have been mined by rachists [contraction de « russes » et de « fascistes »] as well as by our army? It is said that it will take five years to clear the whole territory after the victory. But, if the war lasts another year, will it take ten years? Our Ministry of Defense has also released figures on Russia’s missile arsenal. They would have 78% of their stock of tactical (short-range) missiles left, or 7,310 missiles. I do a quick calculation in my head: if they launch an average of 50 missiles per attack, that’s about 150 attacks. If we take into account that, usually, there is one attack per week, it’s been 150 weeks, almost three years… Well, all these missiles will be fired by our guys. I’m still half sick, cold and tired.

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