This is my university in Kharkiv:
I mean this was my university. It’s been destroyed by the Russians.
In 2014, Russians thought that conquering the completely Russian-speaking Kharkiv would be a breeze. There was no Ukrainian army, the city is 20 minutes from the Russian border, it seemed like an easy win.
Back then, Russia was afraid to bomb and send troops openly because Russians thought that the public opinion in the West wouldn’t tolerate an open slaughter of civilians in Europe (ha ha, right?). The troops Russians sent in 2014 were instructed to pretend they were participating in training maneuvers and got lost. When they came to Kharkiv, regular citizens, civilians banded together and repulsed the Russian assault on Kharkiv. The main confrontation happened right in front of the university that you see in the pictures.
The very first air strike that Russians delivered on Kharkiv in February of 2022 was on the exact spot where Russian invaders were repulsed in 2014.
Ukrainian people are undefeated as always. After the initial shock, they regrouped and have now resumed the spring semester classes. Online, of course.
People are joking, “it’s all good, at least now our professors will have to learn a few new teaching methods.” And, “how come I’m getting a semester off because I joined the army? I’m sitting in the bushes, waiting to shoot at a Russian tank. Those bastards are so slow, I could get in 20-30 algebra equations and a 100 pages on the history of ancient Rome between the shots.”
I hope that together with the fashion for Ukrainian flags and portraits of Zelensky we adopt a fashion for resilience. It wouldn’t hurt at all if mental issues and extreme fragility were no longer a badge of honor.
5 thoughts on “Loss and Resilience”
“now resumed the spring semester classes”
I briefly spoke with a couple of Ukrainian student refugees (one who spent three days in a train to get out). They said they’re attending both universites at present, they have morning online courses for their Ukrainian institution (from around Kyiv area though the name didn’t sound familiar) and physical courses here in the afternoon.
A lot calmer and collected than I’d be in the same circumstances… but in this part of the world people seem to be able to go into ice-vein mode when needed (a valuable ability that goes against everything western media stands for at present).
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Ukrainians are like that. We create a lot of noise and drama over little things but that’s for fun. Real trouble is greeted with stony calmness.
I so so hope this would be a good example for the West and people stop bleating about how devastated they are by every little contretemps. Ands this shit is contagious. My friend who’s an immigrant from Africa called me a couple of days ago because she had an unpleasant interaction with a dentist and couldn’t get over it. The interaction occurred 4 years ago. But now she remembered it and realized she’s still heartbroken over it.
“a lot of noise and drama over little things … Real trouble is greeted with stony calmness”
Change “noise and drama over little things” to “undignified squabbles about petty bullshit’ and change “stony calmness” to “stubborn refusal to give a single fuck about it” and it’s basically Poland….
It is indeed a model that a lot of people would profit from… I remember the beginning of covid in early March 2020 there was an almost palpable paranoia in public but not longer after Easter it had turned into “Is this crap over yet?” even though the worst was yet to come people never got that weird about it again…
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It’s a beautiful university. How dumb and mean one has to be to bomb university buildings!
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I hope you are very well.
English and Ukrainianpoets collaborate on poem, “Reaper”, about a Ukrainian soldier.
I have an update about “Reaper”.Kindly see below and please tell me if you have any questions you wishanswered. Thank you.
English performance poetEstelle Phillips and Ukrainian poet Anastasiia Tepliakova have collaborated onthe translation of “Reaper”, a poem that Estelle wrote about a Ukrainiansoldier. Estelle is a UK performance poet and Anastasiia is a Ukrainian poetand literature researcher at Ukraine’s Literature Museum, city of Dnipro andDnipro region. Despite being in a warzone, surrounded by the horrors of war andworking on procurement for Ukrainian soldiers, Anastasiia found time totranslate “Reaper” for the Literature Museum which published Anastasiia’sUkrainian translation of the poem along with the poetry film, in a post ontheir Facebook page. Here: https://www.facebook.com/litmuseumdnipro/posts/5347891505249410
Estelle wrote “Reaper” afterhearing a Ukrainian soldier interviewed on the radio. The collaboration betweenthe two poets started after Estelle released “Reaper” as a poetry film toYouTube following BBC Radio’s broadcast of her performing “Reaper”.
Please tell me if you wouldlike additional comment and/or have any questions and I will do my best to getanswers for you from both Anastasiia and myself.
Reaper poetry film: Reaper,a poem about a Ukrainian soldier interviewed by the BBC. We fight like lions.
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| | | | Reaper, a poem about a Ukrainian soldier interviewed by the BBC. We figh…
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| Reaper, a poem about a Ukrainian soldier interviewed by the BBC. We figh… |