A message from a Ukrainian Citizen



Because Melnykova lives in the Lviv area, she is not in the direct line of fighting.

With the suppression of media throughout Russia and the horrors that are being experienced in Ukraine, it is difficult to fully understand the emotional and physical harm that the Ukrainian People are experiencing from the Russian Government and Military. 

The story of Russia invading Ukraine really started in 2014 when Russia decided to annex Crimea, the eastern part of Ukraine. That, along with protests within Ukraine when their president decided to not join the European Union, caused a lot of societal discourse. Many conflicts happened and negotiations were made along with interference from NATO. These are the prior events that urged Russia to declare a full-on invasion of Ukraine. 

Vladimir Putin, leader of Russia, believes that Ukraine is rightfully Russia’s property and people, and they deserve to take control of the country once again. You can read headlines to figure out the rest. 

While I just gave you a very vague explanation of the invasion, you can visit this link where I found my information to learn just a little bit more. https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/conflict-ukraine

If you would like to contact Melnykova you can reach her on Instagram @meelnykovva.

This week we have our first ever guest writer for “The Orbit.” Anastasia Melnykova is a student in Boryslav Ukraine (Lviv region), while her area is not under direct danger from the invasion, she fears for her country.

I would like to thank Addy Happ who put me in contact with Anastasia Melnykova for this article. They met through a volunteering program called ENGing, which helps Ukrainian students learn English from English speaking students. Melnykova told Happ that she would like to write a piece for a newspaper about the war in her country to spread awareness. Happ sent me Melnykova’s email and we have been talking ever since about the logistical side of the article. 

I can really feel Melnykova’s passion and pain when it comes to the atrocities that are being inflicted on her people. I feel very honored to be able to uplift Melnykova’s voice so that her message can spread, and I hope it gets the readership that it deserves!

Thank you for sharing your message with the North Polk Community. 

I am Anastasia. I am 15 and I am a Ukrainian citizen.  As you know, there is a cruel war in Ukraine.  I am sure that you have heard many things about it, but I want to tell you what is really happening in Ukraine now.

On February 24, I awoke to the words, “The war has begun.” I turned on the TV and I saw a bomb explode in the capital of Ukraine[Kiyv]. I was so scared, I started crying. I have never ever felt feelings like these. I got many reports of the war that I reread all day. Since then, not only me, but all Ukrainians have begun to live by the moment.

Bucha, Irpin, Gostomel, Mariupol and other cities of Ukraine were destroyed. In Bucha[Kiyv suburb], all women and children that lived there were raped and then killed. In Mariupol, people died of hunger and thirst because they lived in bomb shelters and didn’t leave them for a month. We don’t wake up, don’t go to sleep, we don’t live in our houses, we live in bomb shelters, we don’t listen to birdsongs, we listen to siren sounds that mean air alarm. We are scared that maybe one day our fathers or brothers may be taken to war, and those whose families have already been taken away, simply pray that they will survive. Many women don’t wake up with their beloved husband, they wake to the sound of explosions, pick up military equipment and go to war. Most of us no longer have homes, they are simply destroyed. Hundreds of children weep over the dead bodies of their parents. They will no longer hear their mother’s lullabies, they will no longer feel their father’s embrace, they will just hug their dead bodies and tell them how much they love them.

Russian soldiers tie the hands of children and shoot them. They rape women in front of children, and after, kill them. They remove clothes from corpses and pass them on to their families in Russia. They rob our houses before killing everyone there. They bury our people ALIVE! They are shelling maternity hospitals, hospitals, schools, people’s homes, they are just destroying us. They come with the words “We have come to set you free,” but in reality they are just killing us.

But I know that my country is strong! I know that our soldiers, women, children, and people are brave, strong both physically and spiritually. I know that one day, I will wake up from the words “Get up! We won! The war is over!” and we will live our peaceful life in Ukraine.

I believe in my country! I believe in our people! I believe in UKRAINE!

Слава Україні! Glory to Ukraine!