For those who are interested... here's my personal stream of thoughts, opinions and timeline.
As ArtStation is my biggest social media, I'm posting it here.
I don't have a lot of social media presence and to be honest, as a very private person I was happy with it. Although I have strong views on many political and social topics, I was never too interested in going on Facebook or Twitter to argue with random people about them.
However, this is bigger than that. It's bigger than any politics or views or opinions. This is a war of destruction and genocide.
I was never aligned with russia or their "values", although most of my live I lived in a very "pro-russian" city of Odesa (as it was before 2014, anyone who lives there knows how very much anti-russian this city is now)
However, there was never any hate from me - just refusal to accept.
This turned into open distancing, antipathy and aversion since 2014...
After February 2022 there was disgust, enmity, abhorrence and loathing...
After Bucha there's only rage and hate...
First Thoughts on this War:
I will just quote my message on my Discord server that I've posted after the first month of the full-scale war as it encapsulates everything at the time:
One month has passed since the start of a full scale russian invasion on the free and sovereign land of Ukraine.
8 years of war for the freedom of our land.
Hundred years of oppression of our right to exist as a nation.
Millions of Ukrainians had to flee their homes to save their lives.
Thousands had died.
Numerous war crimes were committed by the russians and the list just keeps updating every minute.
Those russians who elected and nurtured their dictator for 22 years, who refused to protest against fake election results for YEARS (many even helped to skew the results), who were happy and ecstatic with Crimea annexation, who were happy for another small bit of land added to their empire of evil and corruption and who still, to this day, support this war ARE as guilty as their “leader”.
Don’t tell me about the “lack of choice” or "good simple russians".
Staying silent and refusing to resist is a choice they made.
Ukrainians will keep fighting for our people, our land and our freedom.
This war might take another month, or another 8 years.
In any case, this will end with our land free of russian invader scum and our cities rebuilt.
Russians will have to nuke every city and village and kill every Ukrainian out there in order to have a semblance of victory.
We will never forgive and we will never forget.
After Bucha Massacre:
However, this was before the Bucha Massacre and all the horrific images and reports (that I will not post for obvious reasons). You can find all the information about this horrible act of genocide of Ukrainians by russian army online. There are plenty of details.
I've tried rewriting this part a few times for a few days to comply with ArtStation policy, but I failed and deleted the entire section.
What I will say again is that there is no forgiving this. The sheer rage and hatred is overwhelming. There are no excuses any russian can make as to why this happened. They can not say "it's putins war, not ours" when your soldiers, your compatriots, the ones you've raised, the ones you've educated, the army you paid taxes for - are doing this. This is your war.
The Bucha Massacre will be another scar that Ukraine will never heal properly.
This is what the "russian world" brings. Only death and destruction.
Mariupol, Donbass and what's next:
After the russians were destroyed near Kyiv and on the north of our country, failing at every objective other than killing civilians and destroying infrastructure, they moved their attention to the south and south-east.
In the attempt to justify their failure near Kyiv they've started to say that "Kyiv was never the goal, and we never wanted to overthrow the government there". What a load of bullshit, as always. Every time they open their mouths, only lies, bullets and missiles fly out.
The land to the south and south-east is open and vast. The territories are huge and logistics are complicated. There is a good change that this will be the most expensive and prolonged part of this war. There is no telling how long this will last, but I'm certain just as before, that the aggressor will be thrown back from our lands as fast as our Military is capable of.
Mariupol, the city-hero, is still standing at the time of this post. The amount of heroism and determination needed to hold this city against the horde of invaders is astounding. Every last one of our fallen warriors will be honored and remembered. Every last one of those who still stand will fight to the last breath. The city is destroyed, but it will be rebuilt under Ukrainian flag, just like every last one of the cities and villages destroyed by the "russian world".
Kharkiv, the second biggest city in Ukraine. Mostly russian-speaking. Before the "liberators" came there, it was a beautiful city with blooming economy. Now, a lot of it is in ruins. Lives broken and lost. Livelihoods destroyed. Never surrendered, never will.
Kherson, the first and the only big city the russians were able to occupy. Every day there are protests. People are coming out on the streets with Ukrainian flags, sing our anthem and stand unarmed against the occupiers. People were shot, grenades were used. On the next day - people are on the streets again. This city will never surrender.
Donbass region. The region parts of which russia basically tried to annex in 2014 along with Crimea. This region was the "official excuse" for this full-scale war. The russians tried to justify this madness with the "protection of the Donbass population" by killing and destroying this population, bringing stagnation and recession to this region since 2014. Even the clean tap water is a luxury there now... "russian world" at its finest.
So what's next? Most likely a long war. If russians refuse to retreat, this will most likely be months (if not years) of constant tug-of-war. More people will die, more lives will be broken. Occupied territories will have issues with food, water and other supplies, because russians most often than not refuse to provide humanitarian corridors (as seen from Mariupol).
But Ukrainians have no choice as this is our land, our people and our future. We will continue fighting. Слава Україні!
Approximate map of the invasion at the time of this post
So for those of you who are not familiar with the history of our "relations" with russia, and have no idea about russian mentality, there are a bunch of good articles in English I recommend you to read:
The Eternal Cycle of Russian War Effort
Rashism or why russians are the new Nazi
English translation for the "Final Solution for Ukrainian Question" that was posted on russian propaganda news agency (trigger warning)
There are more, but you will have to find them yourself.
TL;DR - russians always tried to destroy Ukrainian nation. It was a bone in the throat of the russian empire, USSR and now so called russian federation. Never happened - never will.
My timeline since the start of the invasion:
Why I'm writing about this now, and not on 24th of February? Because to be honest, going to ArtStation and writing a blog was the last thing I was thinking at the moment. I've posted a small message on my Discord server (server for plug-ins support only), to notify people that I will temporarily close the server and my first thoughts on this invasion:
After that I started looking into the ways to help however I can. In the first weeks of this invasion I've donated a substantial amount of money to our Army and ComeBackAlive fund.
When my brother (who served in the military for 2 years back in 2002) said he went and voluntarily drafted to the Army in Odesa, I tried to join the Territorial Defense Force here in Lviv. However, they said they will call if I needed, mostly because there were so many applicants in Lviv who actually served in the military and were far more useful than me. I'm way back in the fourth "queue" of mobilization (the last one) so I returned back and helped with some volunteering work locally and donated more money, payed all the taxes in advance and continued to work when I could for additional funds.
As the first month of the war passed, I decided to reopen the Discord server and continue support and work on the plug-ins as I finally had some free time on my hands and posted an update there:
After that I was mostly working and tried to return to my pre-war routine when I could. Our government urged everyone who still had paying jobs to continue to work, because our economy needed every worker and tax payer it had. So I did just that and we are here now.