Ihor Makarenko

Posted on 12th December 2022

A Story from Ukraine

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Hello. My name is Ihor. I’m 36 years old. I live in Ukraine, in Dnipro, and work as a UI/UX designer. I live with my wife in a rented apartment in the city center.

My city is located in the central part of Ukraine. Its population is almost 1 million people. This is a great place to live, work, and relax. It has its own spirit and its own atmosphere. Dnipro is divided by the river of the same name into two parts. A large beautiful embankment, theaters, cinemas, cafes, and restaurants. This city has always been bustling with life. But in one moment everything changed…

On February 24, 2022, we woke up from a phone call from friends who informed us that the war had begun. Not understanding how to react to this, we began to think and make decisions about how to proceed. The first thing we started with was calling relatives and asking if everything was fine with them. Then we decided to withdraw cash, and buy food and medicine, as we did not understand the scale of the situation.

Going out into the street, we saw crowds of people standing in line at ATMs and supermarkets. People in a panic bought all the food and water. Many cars were heading out of the city. Military equipment began to move along the streets. It was scary and incomprehensible. It’s like you’re in a movie…

Having bought everything we needed, we went to our relatives. By evening, we learned from the news that a part of Ukraine was occupied and fierce battles were going on. Russian troops entered the Eastern, Northeastern, and Northern parts of Ukraine. Six cities were under fire from enemy rockets and artillery. It’s scary to watch when your country is being destroyed.

Who would have thought that in the 21st century, in the era of digital technologies, the development of artificial intelligence, democracy, and freedom of speech, a war could break out? When one country starts a full-scale attack on another country. But it’s happening right before our eyes…

We started thinking about different options for our actions:

1. Leaving the country. Men between the ages of 18 and 60 were banned from leaving the country. My wife refused to leave without me.

2. Moving to the West of the country, away from hostilities. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians migrated to the west on the first day of the war. It was almost impossible to rent a house. And if there were options, then for a lot of money.

In a sense, we were lucky, although the Dnipro is located very close to the war (200 km), active hostilities were not carried out here. We have begun to adapt to the current conditions:

1. We have collected the most necessary things with which, in case of danger, we could go to the shelter or evacuate.

2. Due to possible problems with transport, we bought a car for greater autonomy. Now we could pack our things in a short amount of time and drive away from potential danger.

3. Since problems with electricity and water supply began, we stocked up on water and bought power banks, gasoline generators, and flashlights.

In the early days, it was the shock and fear of realizing that a missile could fly into your house. This is a constant tension. At night you are afraid to fall asleep in anticipation of the sound of explosions.

Before, I could only see about the war in movies and news reports. I never thought that there would be an all-out war in my country. When missile explosions shake your house and you run for shelter. When you hear an air raid alarm dozens of times a day, it happens that you wake up not from an alarm clock, but from the sound of an explosion …

We have been living and working in such conditions for 9 months. In such a situation, material things go by the wayside. Houses, cars, businesses, all this can be lost and acquired again, but our life, health, and people who are nearby are the most valuable.

I admire the support of many world countries – the USA, Great Britain, the EU countries, and many others, which help Ukraine to defend its rights and fight for its freedom.

I am very pleased that Flexiana has offered their help from the first days of the war. Many employees of the company are concerned about the situation in Ukraine. I really appreciate the opportunity to work for this company.