To better introduce intricate software as a solution tool, one of my professors asked the class to name a problem we encounter in our daily lives. My first thought was, “There is a war in my country.” I stayed silent for that part of the class, as a simple solution for this kind of problem does not exist. We talked about ways to free up space on iPhones and moved on to learning the program further.
As Ukrainian military forces are preparing for the awaited counteroffensive, Russia continues to shell the country daily. Despite the constant attacks, Ukrainians try to live their lives, coping, in part, by collecting large sums of donations for the army and presenting the strength of the country not only on the battlefield but also in international sports competitions such as the Boston Marathon.
Ukraine at War: Ukrainian women rescued 31 children kidnapped by Russia, many more still cannot return homeBy Mariia Kudina | April 14
This spring, a team of Ukrainian women took a dangerous trip to Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea to bring home some of the Ukrainian children who were illegally kidnapped from the other regions occupied by the Kremlin. Although around three dozen rescued kids are now able to reunite with their families, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children and teenagers still cannot return to Ukraine.
The discussions around the Kremlin’s threats to utilize nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine were seemingly fading, as for a few months, Russia limited its mentions of intentions to use them. On Saturday, March 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an agreement with Belarus to store tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. While Putin justifies the decision by stating that Russia follows the U.S. model of storing nuclear weapons around the world, Russia’s determination to relocate the weapons closer to Europe is concerning.
At the beginning of the full-scale war, some directors of Ukrainian fashion brands felt unsure about the field’s relevance; however, a few months into the conflict they realized that continuing their creative processes is especially valuable at this time. In addition to bringing attention to Ukraine by engaging in shows and contests, making designs for clothes now meant remaining strong and fighting against Russian attempts to destroy Ukrainian culture. Ksenia Schnaider, a creative director of KseniaSchnaider, said that she initially thought that the brand she and her husband Anton created in 2011 would no longer exist.
To recognize the war in the country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has famously refused to wear suits, appearing in public in army green t-shirts or hoodies with a tiny trident — the Ukrainian national symbol — and trousers, since the night of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Ukrainian fashion, shaped by the ongoing military battles, reflects the complex nature of feelings and characteristics surrounding the people of Ukraine in these challenging times: hope, strength and perseverance.
Despite the cold and snow, on Sunday, Feb. 26, Copley Square was decorated with Ukrainian flags along with those of the United States, Poland, Latvia and others. Almost 1,000 Bostonians gathered in front of the Trinity Church to recognize the gloomy one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine. People joined in to listen to the speeches of city officials and personal stories of Ukrainian students pursuing education in the Boston area, while collecting and sending aid packages back home and dealing with very complex emotions.
Kryvyi Rih, a large industrial city in Ukraine where my immediate family lives, is located 43–49 miles from the frontline, so many of the wounded soldiers receive treatment in its hospitals. Both of my parents are doctors, and our conversations about their work often leave me speechless. Recently, my mom was testing new methods of lung ultrasound diagnosis with a group of patients — volunteers, who are mostly military officers. One of them shared with my mom that during the retreat from a small town, Soledar, something small and sharp — likely a bullet or a missile fragment — hit his ribcage.
Within the Oct. 17 war prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia, 108 Ukrainian women returned home, marking the first all-female exchange for Ukraine. After months of Russian captivity, the Ukrainian servicewomen and civilians who came back in both this and other exchanges continue to share horrifying stories about their enemy’s military crimes.
Kyiv was just a flight away from Boston before the war. The Ukrainian sky has been closed for all planes except the military ones since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, 2022. Getting to Ukraine from the U.S. now requires approximately two flights and two train or bus rides. The latter typically includes a long wait: between four and six hours if it is a lucky day, or about a day on other occasions, in my case on the Polish-Ukrainian border.