“I was born in 1991, when Ukraine declared its independence and the Soviet Union collapsed. I grew up in a rural area of western Ukraine in the Ivano-Frankivsk region in a home built by my grandparents. My parents and grandparents still live there. This is the place I call my home, no matter where I live.
All of my family is still in Ukraine. They are not leaving. They believe in the Ukrainian army, and they believe in themselves. They have emergency kits, and they are trying to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. And they are ready to protect themselves and their country. My dad says, ‘This is our home. How could we leave it? If the enemy comes, we will protect our home.’ It might be a question of life or death, but constantly living in fear is also devastating. So, my parents, just like many other Ukrainians, have accepted responsibility for their lives.