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.