I will never forget the morning of February 24, 2022, a call at 05:27 and a frightened voice on the phone: "Get up, the war has begun, Kyiv is being bombed from all sides, explosions are rocking the entire country…" writes Natalia Kuksa, a lawyer at law firm Sorainen.
At first, I denied the reality that war had begun. That must be wrong! The denial lasted a few minutes as I started reading the news. Tears erupted, horror, fear, panic and ignorance pierced the body and mind at once. What to do, where to run, what to take with you? I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life – to leave my home, friends and relatives in Ukraine.
However, I believe that Ukraine will win. I believe I can go home soon. I believe in the unity of our nation and our people!
I am grateful to my colleagues in Estonia, who supported me every step of the way. I am grateful that Estonians in general aren't indifferent or lukewarm about what is happening in Ukraine. When I walk the streets of Tallinn, I feel tears form in my eyes. I perceive the solidarity of Estonian citizens with Ukrainians during these walks. I constantly see peaceful protests by Estonians against the war in Ukraine. I notice the blue-yellow flags that are common in Tallinn. I've witnessed how friendly and helpful Estonian volunteers are with Ukrainian war refugees.
The physicist Albert Einstein has said, "The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." I read and see how Western and Eastern world leaders do not dare to call a spade a spade. They carefully avoid the words "war" and "Ukrainian genocide" in their crafted speeches. French President Emmanuel Macron has said, "I would be very careful to use such words (genocide - ed.) Because these two nations (Ukrainians and Russians) are fraternal people."
Do not call Ukrainians and Russians brothers
I cannot understand how Ukrainians and Russians can be called brothers when the Russian army kills our children, shoots and maims our citizens, rapes our children and women. Deports the inhabitants of our cities and uses heavy artillery to shell their homes.
The Estonian government actively supports Ukraine on all international levels. Estonia was also one of the first European countries to adapt its laws to prohibit the display of hostile symbols in sensitive situations, and based on this decision, it also amended its penal code.
The occupiers have overpainted their military machines with strange symbols – the common letters "Z" and "V." Brilliant! Why didn't the "native Russians" use their "powerful Cyrillic alphabet" as a symbol? Why choose the western Latin alphabet? The Kremlin was supposed to hate the influences of Western culture.
In any case, these letters have been smeared with the blood of thousands of innocent citizens. We saw the nature of the Z-War in Bucha, Irpin, Gostomel, Borodyanka, Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities. Since then, some countries have begun to ban the highlighting of the letter Z in all creations. An ordinary letter like Z has become a symbol of death and suffering. At the same time, Russia's propaganda machine is increasingly using the letter Z to increase popular support for the war. There is propaganda video news that admits that Russian children studying in kindergartens and schools are required to draw the letter Z in classrooms. Adult citizens draw the letter Z on their cars. People make figures in front of a drone camera, forming another Z… I don't know why Putin and his entourage think about the Z campaign, because for me, Russia's military invasion marks Russia's poZor ("shame" in Russian).
I was fooled
I remember thinking during the first days of the war that one person wanted the war first and foremost. Vladimir Putin. I sincerely believed that an ordinary Russian citizen was against the war. For some reason, I thought that the Russian people had the willpower to halt this senseless and wicked war in every way. I have finally adapted to harsh reality. Most of Russian society supports the government. They watch the national Russian channels with pacifiers stuck in their mouth.
On behalf of the Ukrainian people, I would like to thank Estonian society once again for publicly condemning Russia's attempt to occupy Ukraine. That you also legally prohibited the use of the death symbol in harmful situations. I think that your actions show more than just the will to support and protect Ukrainians. Your actions also reflect a desire to protect your own people from Russian terror.
Glory to Ukraine!
Editor: Marcus Turovski