Ukraine: Voices On the Inside

They can hear bombs and see destruction when they’re driving”

— Ellia Mytsa

It’s been nearly a year since Russia initially invaded Ukraine, and the havoc wreaked across the country means life will never be the same for its citizens. To many students at Woodgrove, the conflict is old news, but for one student, the conflict has become a significant part of her family and their future.

Sophomore Ellia Mytsa shares the impact on her Ukrainian relatives in the war-torn country. “They can hear bombs and see destruction when they’re driving,” Mytsa says.

Since the start of the invasion, tens of millions of Ukrainians have been displaced, about half have dispersed throughout Europe. Along the ever-shifting battlefront, thousands of soldiers from both Ukraine and Russia have been wounded or killed in combat. Despite the seemingly worsening conditions, many Ukrainians have chosen to stay in their home country.

“We are used to it. We know what to do. Everything is automatic,” says one of Mytsa’s cousins, who remains in Ukraine. She is just one example of the persistent optimism amidst the chaos inflicted upon her country. “Ukrainians are the descendants of the Cossacks, the fearless people who love their country and freedom.”

Ukrainian refugees huddle in a metro station during the Russian invasion of Kyiv. (Creative Commons)