What You Need to Know About Ukraine

Nyet slov, odni emotsii

For nine days we’ve seen a harsh war

Our cities are being destroyed

Our people and children

Our residential areas, churches, schools

Are being shot

For the historical record

My job right now is documenting

My country’s war crimes

For any future international tribunals 

Few have access to independent media

The Russians are now occupying my hometown

And also, it seems, my memories

The mall where we shopped is a smoldering ruin

Another video showed corpses in the park

Where I used to go as a kid

With my mother and my class

To feed the swans

They tell me the Russians shot

Apartment buildings, homes, a school

Russian forces have used cluster bombs and 

Other types of weapons

In violation of international law

This is brutality This is inhumane

The Pentagon established 

A direct communication line Tuesday

With the Russian ministry of defense

For the purpose of preventing


Military incidents 

And escalation

The first mass grave has been dug

It’s hard to tell who ended up in it

I close my eyes and I see and feel the city

My father walking me to school

My mother buying me

The tastiest korzynky tarts in the world

You hear kids screaming, mothers screaming

It’s so crazy

It feels like we stepped back into WWII 

With the train whistles

People hugging and saying goodbye

Not sure if they will ever come back to this place

They shelled the cemetery

They are afraid even of the dead

I am a resident of Kyiv, for many generations

This is my place, and I am not leaving

Everything inside of me is boiling 

Because of what’s happening

My emotions are overflowing, I’m telling you

I served and I am ready to fight 

Although in 1990

I made a decision to be a pacifist

To the American people, I say

Please stop him


He will flood the entire Earth

With blood

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said

Russian war criminals will be held accountable: 

To the people of Europe

I call upon you not to be silent

Support our effort and support our fight

Because if Ukraine will not stand

Europe will not stand

Do not turn the blind eye on this

If we win, and I am sure we will win

This will be the victory

For the whole democratic world

This will be the victory of light over darkness

If we win, we will become as blossoming as Europe

And Europe will be flourishing more than ever

After this significant victory

The captain leaves the ship last

When the dawn breaks

And there is light out the window

It is somehow psychologically better

We are a fertile southern land

With fertile black soils and two seas

We are a nation of peace

It is impossible for those who know freedom

To believe in the goodness of dictatorship

The flag of Ukraine still flies here

When someone comes and destroys your home 

Kills children 

Makes your life a living nightmare 

You have no other words left to describe your feelings

How shall we describe this?

No words, only emotions

(A found poem of Ukrainian voices recorded in a variety of news sources over the past week.)

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  1. Your considerable talent well employed. Please share widely.

  2. :'(
    I hope the world wakes up and this ends before it becomes dictators vs democracy all over the world.

    Really felt your pain in this poem.

    Nyet slov, odni emotsii


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