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"Slava Ukraini!": A Ukrainian writer shares his experience
It’s March 15, 2022, and I’m ceding the newsletter this week to a Ukrainian writer, Bohdan Dovhaliuk, who I’ve asked to write an essay regarding his experiences over the past few weeks. His essay is below (mostly unedited, so as to preserve his words), along with the links for the week.
“Two weeks from the life of an ordinary Ukrainian guy, which he will never forget” by Bohdan Dovhaliuk
Numbers and links
Two weeks from the life of an ordinary Ukrainian guy, which he will never forget
On February 23, I went to bed in a good mood.
In the evening, I wrote part of an article for my project's blog called Smart2000s. I've been working on this material since January. And already in my sleep, I pictured how in early March, I would publish this long-awaited post.
The whole next morning, people quickly left my building and came back in. I heard these noises when I slept. Sometimes the rumble of shoes on the landing woke me up, and I tried to go back to sleep. Then, when I opened my eyes at 11:14 A.M., I immediately turned on my smartphone.
You got that right. I belong to the category of people who turn off the Internet on their phone and put it in offline mode before going to bed.
And since I lived alone at the time, the only one who could tell me about Russia's invasion of Ukraine was my cat. But this ginger kitten didn't dare to disturb my rest. Therefore, I didn't find out about these events right away.
Above: Bohdan and his cat, Red
First, I decided to check my email. A letter was waiting for me. It informed me that the recruiter had canceled my interview for tomorrow. The thing is, I was actively looking for additional work at the time. I was worried that she sent the email at 6:52 A.M. After that, I opened Telegram and checked out the soccer channel. It was there that I heard about the start of hostilities in my native land. I was shocked.
The reaction of my friends from Ukraine
Yes, there were rumors that Putin wanted to start a war with Ukraine all February. However, almost no one believed it. At the beginning of the month, my friend Yaroslav asked me to contact my friend from Madrid to help him buy tickets to a festival that was supposed to take place in Spain this summer.
I advised him not to waste money and wait until the situation calmed down. But he said, "Dude, do you think there's going to be a war?" I told him it's better to take precautions anyway. So, a week and a half later, after reading that sad post on the soccer channel, I decided to check other messages.
It turned out that at 9:08 A.M. Yaroslav asked me if he could come to live with me. My house is in Western Ukraine, and my friend was in Kyiv at the time. Of course, I agreed to let him stay at my apartment. But by noon, he had already found another place to stay, so my answer was no longer relevant to him. Realizing this, I immediately began writing to my other friends in Kyiv.
My old bro Roman, with whom I have been friends for more than ten years, has an apartment in the very center of Kyiv. He responded quickly to my proposal, but he believed that the Russians wouldn't get to Ukraine's capital quickly. So he decided to stay with his girlfriend at his home. Because of this decision, events left them stuck in Kyiv for almost the next two weeks. They had to live in the corridor of their apartment because it turned out to be the safest hiding place.
Above: Bohdan and Roman
On the evening of March 2, a missile was fired at the Ministry of Defense. The air defense system worked successfully and shot it down. But a piece of the rocket landed not far from the Southern Railway Station. It was two or three kilometers from Roman's apartment. As it turned out, his girlfriend was standing by the window at the moment.
The blow was so powerful that she thought it was in the next street. Naturally, she became hysterical. It seemed to her that their building was bombing. Fortunately, after a few days, Roman and Masha escaped from Kyiv. They are now in a safe place.
I also offered asylum to my friend, who has two little daughters. Plus, I told the recruiter of one of the companies I contacted before the war to help their employees with relocation. However, they didn't need my help. So now I have moved to live with my parents and expect guests at my apartment.
The reaction of my friends from abroad
When the hostilities started, my friends from all over the world sent me messages. They were worried about the situation in Ukraine and asked how I was feeling. So I had moral support from these wonderful people who live in Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, and the USA.
Even the guys I don't know from Greece, Norway, and Finland, with whom I play games online, started to ask about my life and wished me well. So I felt massive support from the whole world. This feeling was very important to me. Because in such difficult times, it's better not to be alone.
The reaction of Ukrainians from abroad
On February 26, my cousin called me. He was working in Poland at the time. Nazar told me that he was going back to Ukraine to defend it. His friends, who were in the Netherlands back then, planned to go with him.
They agreed to gather in Warsaw and rent a car to get to the Ukrainian-Polish border. About 10,000 men returned to Ukraine every day from Europe during the first two weeks of the war. The whole country is proud of them.
After all, who is a real Ukrainian?
I want to end my story with two words that I've already heard from people all over the world. Thanks to the heroism of Ukrainians, millions already know this phrase. Note that when I use the term Ukrainians, I mean people of completely different ethnic backgrounds.
So, friends, let's say these beautiful words together. Slava Ukraini!
If you’re interested in hiring Bohdan, click here to download Bogdan's CV, which includes his portfolio and contacts
Numbers, Links, and Faces
20X: The amount by which one economic historian thinks remote work could increase wealth inequality as a group of “elite white-collar” workers rises to the top. (Fortune)
385%: The projected increase in out-of-state patients seeking abortion providers in the state of Washington if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. (CrossCut)
60%: The increase in home prices in my hometown of Spokane, Washington, which is (along with Boise), the new go-to place for people fleeing high-cost cities. (The New York Times)
80%: The percentage of new car purchases in which buyers paid over the sticker price during January. Compare that to just 2% during 2021. (Bloomberg)
A former Army Major’s advice to those with no military training who are, or will be, fighting the invading Russian military. (Twitter)
Frowny face: 11 economic indicators that are screaming right now. (Reddit)
Smiley face: I’ve been working with a young writer and investment advisor, Cameron Rufus, on his writing for some time now, and he’s starting to publish some really great pieces. (Wealth Found Me)
See you next week.