By Maxie Harrington
Howard University News Service
Roman Kravets was born in Bremen, Germany, but has spent most of his life in Kiev, Ukraine. I am currently staying in Warsaw, Poland. He left Kiev in mid-February and is staying in Warsaw, Poland, where he plans to continue his studies. Kravets shared his experiences since Russia began attacking Ukraine.
How have Russia’s recent attacks on Ukraine directly affected you, your family and your friends? Have you had to evacuate?
A lot of my friends had to leave, especially those that live near Kiev (Gostomel, Irpin) and Kharkiv (Eastern part of Ukraine). Many other cities are also under attack right now. My parents left the city on the first day of the invasion to stay in the smaller town near Kiev (about 30 miles from Kiev). My dad is at a checkpoint near the entrance to the town, checking the vehicles that are entering the town for weapons and Russian saboteurs.
The situation has directly affected me and my family emotionally, physically and financially as the price of our currency and all of the other assets such as real estate dropped. It is also hard to get food, pay with credit cards and get gasoline. It is difficult to leave the cities where there are shelling and bombings, as if you want to order a taxi it will cost a fortune.
What are your overall feelings about the current situation?
I feel anger, sadness and I am proud at the same time. I am angry at the invaders and Putin as well as the Russian media, which spreads false news to make it seem as though Putin and the army are rescuing Ukraine rather than invading us.
I am sad to see a lot of people dying both military and civilians. People who are just trying to get to safety being shot at and bombed, resulting in the loss of limbs and/or immediate death.
I am proud of the Ukrainian military, my father, and my friends who are fighting off the invaders. As well as people around the globe who are supporting Ukraine in any way they can, be it mentally, financially or physically.
If there is any information that you would like the rest of the world to know or consider and share, what would that be?
That this conflict is not just an invasion in Ukraine, it’s the beginning of something bigger — maybe even World War III. The faster we stop the Russian invasion, the more people we can save around the world. Asking people not to distance themselves from this conflict and help stop Russia anyway they can.
What do you feel is the best way for outsiders to help the people of Ukraine?
For the people around the world the best way to help is to send money in support of the Ukrainian army, so that they are supplied with adequate ammunition and equipment.
Also calling and asking senators and representatives to send help to Ukraine, tanks, planes, rockets, guns, anything. We need maximum support from other countries militarily, because it is not just to defend Ukraine, but to finally stop Russian dictatorship. Since the fight has already begun and we have proven that Russian troops are also mortals, we know we can defeat them with the help of other countries.
Additionally bringing any resources such as soap, socks, and so on to the nearest volunteering point to Ukraine would help a lot.
Please spread the word not to only defend Ukraine, but stop Putin. Because who knows which country is next for the invasion if Ukraine falls.
Maxie Harrington is a reporter and regional bureau chief for HUNewsService.com.