Reposted from Dasha Peipon FB: My cousin Dxxx and her family are in Chernigiv – one of the most beautiful historic cities in Ukraine. In February-March 2022 it was turned into ruins as a result of Russia’s war. The reports were more and more daunting. According to some horrifying forecasts from a few weeks ago, Chernigiv was to become the next Mariupol because it was strategically important for Russians to take Chernigiv so they can get to Kyiv. Dasha along with some family and friends stayed behind. Later on, the only bridge that could be the way out of Chernigiv, was destroyed by a bomb.
I finally got to talk to her yesterday after a long break. Even though she had no power, gas, or water for a month, she managed to get her phone charged from generators enough to respond to my daily check-in messages. I didn’t need much, just a “hey” or a “still here.”
“I’m no hero,” – she says. “Just doing what anyone would have done in my place.”
I disagree. To me, she’s a hero. And so is everyone in Ukraine – those staying alive, those keeping their children safe, those evacuating and running towards uncertainty, those taking care of the elderly, those burying their loved ones and people they didn’t know, those feeding the animals, those cooking for the hungry, those melting the snow to provide water for their loved ones, those putting out the fires, digging through the rubbles in search of the victims, those opening their coffee shops and hair salons to keep the economy running, those evacuating civilians, those cleaning the streets of their cities after missile strikes, those preaching, those teaching, those making music and art, etc., etc. And that is everyone in Ukraine. Everyone is doing their part. So yes, she’s my hero. Here are some quotes from her from the month of war. I’m sharing them with her permission.
“There’s no need to worry about us. Here, I’ll show you. We settled in quite nicely here in the basement. We even take turns sleeping on this one couch we have.”
“We’re good. We delivered food to the school – there are people sheltering there.”
“Of course I’m staying positive! What other choice do I have? I can’t fall apart – my child is watching me. I’d rather be doing something useful. There’s always something you can do for yourself and for others.”
“For Axxx’s 8th birthday we actually went out of the basement for a bit to celebrate the occasion.”
“If everyone leaves, who is going to be defending Chernigiv? If Chernigiv falls, Kyiv will be next. We won’t let them get through us – they will never have Kyiv.”
“Mom is fine. I cannot get to her [even though she’s a short 20-min drive away] – the roads are all mined. We are not going anywhere.”
“I lived in this apartment building for many years, but I have never felt this connected with the rest of the people living here. We’re all like one big family now, everyone helping each other, taking care of each other. My neighbors look for me, ask me for any updates, rely on me for helping with certain things I’ve been doing for them. I rely on them in other things. We are so united.”
Please, pray for Dxxx, her husband Axxxx and their little girl Axxx.
Compiled by Leanne Portzel