For my Ukraine

Kupala Night by Andrey Shishkin

The rivers and the forests of Ukraine flow through me, what happens to it happens to me. I shall lie on its soil as it will embrace and engulf me. I shall rest there as one would in their home. I am Ukraine and Ukraine is me. But even as Ukraine cries and struggles, the land is mighty and it knows itself. Its Spirits and Deities are ancient and large, and lie deep in the soil below the surface. The things that happen on the surface may wake up the anger of its Gods, but they cannot harm them. We carry Ukraine in our hearts, it is not contained in buildings of wood and stone.

Через мене текут реки і леса України, що со ней відбувається, то і со мною. Я буду лежати на її земле, і вона мене возьмёт в свої об’ятья. Я буду відпочивати там, як можна тільки вдома. Я Украина и Украина это я. Але навіть коли Україна плачет і бореться, земля могуча і знає себя. Её Духи і Божества древні і величезні, вони лежать глибоко в грунті під поверхнею. То, що відбувається на поверхні, може пробудити гнев її Богов, але не може викликати їм шкоду. Ми несем Украину в наших сердцах, она не заключена в домах из дерева и камня.

Через меня текут реки и леса Украины, что со ней происходит, то и со мной. Я буду лежать на её земле, и она меня возьмёт в свои объятья. Я буду отдыхать там, как можно только дома. Я Украина и Украина это я. Но даже когда Украина плачет и борется, земля могуча и знает себя. Её Духи и Божества древние и огромные, они лежат глубоко в почве под поверхностью. То, что происходит на поверхности, может пробудить гнев её Богов, но не может причинить им вред. Мы несем Украину в наших сердцах, она не заключена в домах из дерева и камня.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. ganglerisgrove says:

    Tove over at Freyja’s Frenzy writing about her birthplace, Ukraine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ganglerisgrove says:

    Reblogged this on Gangleri's Grove and commented:
    Tove, over at Freya’s Frenzy, writing about her homeland, Ukraine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sigynsmaid says:

    …my mom’s name is Oksana – after my grandma’s closest friend, who was Ukrainian… my friend in Moscow went to protest against the war three days ago, and disappeared… and not his mother nor his wife know where he is now, going crazy in their fear… so I feel your pain…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tove says:

      That is terrible, I will pray for him to return. That man is torturing both Russians and Ukrainians. I have a friend in Russia, she has been planning to move to US, slowly making plans. She has her hands full though – she has three kids, husband, dogs, cats, a bird and a blind mother. Then this happened. She was trying to sell her house before leaving, now I just told her, just go, run. I can’t even help her get out. My mom and my dad did it in 1989. USSR is passing from living memory, especially with our young people. They could never conceive of that life, of what it’s like, what it means to protest in a country like that. I have another friend here, her nephew got beat so badly, it damaged his kidneys.

      But you know what? Ukraine is sustaining terrible losses, but they are free and unafraid and are beating them back! I hope what Ukraine is doing here, standing up to this aggressor, is giving the Russian people strength to realize, they can do it too. Yes, there are horrible civilian casualties, and Kharkiv, my hometown, has been all but destroyed…. And it’s not the only one. But it will rise, better and taller then before once all of this is over, rise clean of the history of all those old buildings from USSR times. There are unimaginable acts of bravery there, every day. I read the online Ukrainian news, it reads a bit like “news from the front”, and they write things like, “there will be Russian soldiers running through your village, you may feed them, but afterwards you need to do a citizens arrest”. They can’t help but feed hungry people, even if they are enemy soldiers. One village had Russian troops walk through the town and rob all the food to the point where the people are starving, so the local baker started baking bread for everyone free of charge for days. Regular civilians cover the roads by the 100s, standing in front of tanks and not letting the Russian soldiers through. One person got shot at, everyone rushed to help from the front of the protest, but the back didn’t budge.

      Russian and Ukrainian people are cousins, and perhaps, since Russia descended from Ukraine, perhaps the mother is teaching the daughter what she is capable of. They must stand, just like our ancestors stood and sometimes died from standing up to Hitler. We need their strength now, both of us. What Putin is doing here is soiling the hands of the Russian people. He is making Russian people responsible for deaths of thousands of Ukrainians. His troops are doing unimaginable horrors in Ukraine. But it’s no use, they can’t have her, and nor should that man have Russia.

      In my opinion what guy need is to get the military on your side. I know they all have orders, but they are still Russian men, with mothers and families and childhoods in Russia. They need to understand that by allowing this, but letting him do this, they are betraying their Motherland. This is not why they joined. Also, let them all know – the chechens, and those special forces that repress the protesters – they couldn’t withstand the Ukrainian military. They can beat on civilians, but when they come up against the Ukrainian army, they all got destroyed. One of the major divisions of the Chechens fell. They can only beat up innocent civilians. Russia is a nation of 140 million people. This is one man. One. Speak to the local military. See what they really think. Make friends with them. I will bet anything, they hate this too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sigynsmaid says:

    I would say that ‘beat up innocent civilians’ is their specialty… it’s a nightmare what’s going on there… again… I still can’t believe it… I don’t speak Ukrainian, and traveled to Ukraine just once in my life – with my dad, when I was a kid. But we had and still have Ukrainian friends back to Moscow, and also here for many years, and one friend of mine married to the Ukrainian guy for thirty years now, and friend who disappeared is married to Ukrainian lady also… so, we are all mixed and always loved each other, and never judge each other by our bloods… I mean normal people. And I’m mixed pretty well myself! so, what’s going on?!!! one KGB guy is holding hostage two countries? I still can’t believe it! It’s exactly like in a Hoffmann’s tale ‘Little Zaches’! Surreal. Awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tove says:

      They also arrested a 90 year old survivor of the blockade of Leningrad because she was protesting against the war. Even in USSR, no one would dare do something like that. But now, they did. Putin has access to nuclear weapons, so he basically went unhinged and threatened the world with nuclear weapons. Ukraine is not giving it up, so he has been trying to set off nuclear reactors in Ukraine. There is an actual video, Russian tanks (these have that infrared stuff now, so they are actually aiming) are shooting at a nuclear reactor and you can hear in the back Ukrainians yelling for them to stop because they will set it off. They kept shooting until it caught fire. Yes, one KGB agent, holding everyone, the entire world, hostage. The Russian army needs to step in and do the right thing. He banned the word war, you can now get 15 years for it there. The Ukrainian President was a comedian and this is his first time in office. Switzerland, the one that stayed neutral during WWII, has made a statement on the side of Ukraine, sent them arms and is considering entering NATO. Switzerland.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sigynsmaid says:

    …I can’t even imagine what’s next…

    Like

    1. Tove says:

      There are several scenarios that I see here.

      1. Putin had a plan, to do a blitzkrieg kind of an invasion. He intended to take Ukraine in a day, maybe two, take out Zelensky and his cabinet, and install a puppet government. Its taking him a while to really digest that this is not a possibility, for several reasons:

      a. Ukrainian are much better trained, much better armed, and are much larger then they were in 2014 when he invaded Ukraine and took Crimea
      2. The latest Ukrainian government has instituted a cleansing of corruption, appointing departments that pushed Ukraine into the digital age of 2022, curbing corruption, etc. This means, Ukrainian people, up to this invasion, have been living in a much more corruption free country, and understand what its like. For the past 30 years Ukraine has had such things as free speech. This means, the younger generations are not used to the KGB silencing of all speech type of an environment. They are not going to keep quiet if they are told to be quiet. So, when he takes over, this won’t be like being in Russia, where they are already used to keeping quiet.
      3. Because of the brutality of the Russian invasion, not only are Ukrainian people not greeting Russian soldiers with flowers, they are lying in front of tanks to prevent them from proceeding. Grandmas are spitting into their faces and screaming invaders go home. Even the people in Eastern Ukraine who speak Russian and have a closer connection to Russia have stopped speaking Russian in solidarity, and are now speaking Ukrainian. All pro-russia politicians have picked up arms to fight against the Russian soldiers. The level of hate for the Russian people that is now raising in Ukraine is so intense, that it will take generations, not just decades to abate a little. Understand, Russian troops have been indiscriminately shooting ballistic missiles and vacuum bombs into hospitals and preschools, on purpose, to break the Ukrainian spirit. My uncle sent me a video made on a private phone of what the street looks like where he lives. It was full of bodies, ripped into pieces, some of them children. There were no military installations anywhere near him, this is obviously done on purpose. Russian troops have been avoiding the Ukrainian military, hoping to scare Ukrainians into surrendering by torturing civilians. Everyone lost someone or knows someone who lost someone. This forced all the people to put aside their difference and unite in fighting off an invader. In 2014 Ukrainians stood in their central square in the dead of winter protesting Yanukovich. When his snipers shot at the protesters, they stormed their government building under a hail of bullets, and hundred at least died. They stormed anyway.
      The level of hatered is no intense, from every single Ukrainian, that even if his army takes over Ukraine, at this point, he will not be able to control it. The people mobilized, and at this point, the more he tortures them, the more they mobilize and hate him. No local political figure will agree to be the puppet, not for any money, either because he can’t, not after what Putin’s troops have done, because everyone has a limit, or because if he does, the Ukrainian people will do to him what they did to Yanukovich. Any puppet government will hold for a day at most. Even if every Russian soldier is called into Ukraine, they will not be able to stop it in a country of 40 million people. Its also demoralizing for soldiers to be constantly spitted into their faces, called occupiers, and cursed and yelled at them every day. There is just no point to occupy Ukraine at this point. Ukrainians mobilized to a point of “fight until the last man standing”. You know what that means. Russian soldiers are creating some kind of rape camps in Kherson where they took over, and the people are still demonstrating with Ukrainian flags, and spitting into the faces of Russian soldiers. they are calling them “the occupants”. The last time I heard this term, it was in reference to Nazis during WWII. One climbed on a Russian tank to waive a Ukrainian flag. How will they control Ukraine in this situation? That level of hate? They are basically saying, you can kill us, but you can’t have us.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. sigynsmaid says:

    Right. Everyone (including Russians) is understand that occupation of Ukraine is impossible cause nobody wants Russians there! Except Little Zaches – this ugly little man himself? It’s impossible for him to win anything! Is he mad or what? or he wants to bite off a part of Ukraine he counted as a ‘Russian’ part? and who will let him he thinks?!!! not Ukrainian people – that’s for sure! and Russians aren’t crazy about all this too! it’s sad what you are telling about collective responsibility – I identify myself as Russian… despite Swedish, Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and Jewish bloods in my veins. I was born in Russia, there is my culture, language and all bloody history of my people and Ukrainian people… my mother counts her bloodline from Rurik (yeah that one) and never ever judge anyone by the blood. and protest the communist government at times when it was as much dangerous as it is now (and my grandparents too) so I inherited that… but anyway I understand with all that painful history of Ukraine, Ukrainian people will hate me now too just because I’m Russian… sad… but true. I understand. After all I chose to immigrate, and not to stay there in my protest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tove says:

      I totally understand, and I get it. My Ukrainian side lived so close to the Russian border, I would bet money that there is some Russian there too. But right now, Ukrainian people are unified to throw an aggressor out (and yes, I do believe he is completely unhinged) and I think this is something that Russian people completely understand, they would do the same thing, and they have in the past. People there for whom Russian is their first language are speaking Ukrainian because they are embarrassed.

      I remember when I lived in USSR in the 80’s, and there was this posh restaurant in town. One day, German tourists came in. The entire restaurant started singing WWII songs until they were forced to leave. This was almost 40 years after WWII! You know our people, how they are. Now Russian soldiers are doing this, and its all videotaped as well. I get that that its not fair to associate that with every Russian person, and that they don’t want it, but now there will be a knee jerk reaction, and if this doesn’t stop, it will only get worse and get more entrenched. Once you see your home street littered with dead bodies of people you have known for years, and the Russian soldiers come in, this becomes a trigger memory. They need to stop before this becomes a shared memory. The thing is, the troops are Russian people too, and there is someone who presses the ballistic missile button. Someone who flew the plane. Believe me, I know the Russian people are trying too, and so do the Ukrainians. But when I call the people back there who are actually witnessing what happened, and tell them that, they ask how many are people are protesting, and how many people are staying home. They are saying, Russia has a population of 140 million people, how many of them are doing anything? “But I didn’t know” just doesn’t work on people who see that level of carnage.

      In the end of the day, the Russian people, as a collective, need to decide what story they want to have in the pages of history. They need to decide how this must end. They need to write their story. And I think the Russian troops – all of them, need to decide this as well. Putin’s legacy is already sealed as the worst ruler of Russia that has ever lived. He has superseded then all in branding the Russian people, without their consent or even knowledge, as a people who have committed both a fratricide and a genocide in one. If Russian people want to have a different story to be told about them as a people, if they don’t want this to be associated with them, they have the stage. It will be bloody and many will be lost, but the alternative is to stick to Putin’s story. It will take courage and strength. We are no longer living in the times when anyone can stand on the sidelines, because doing nothing will also be noted and remembered. Even if you are scared, legitimately so. Even if it means losing everything and everyone. We need to remember our ancestors what they did. We need to remember who we are. There is no other choice, they would say. He imprisoned a survivor of the blockade of Leningrad – is there anything more to be said? Do nothing – and they are spitting on the graves of their ancestors. All of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. sigynsmaid says:

    I agree. I don’t know which percent of Russians is protesting now like that WW2 hero who is been arrested. I can speak only of those I know. My friends in Moscow do… and yes, they can loose everything – not like you or me (BTW I’ve already lost everything). and as I said before, one of them can’t be found anywhere for three days already. It’s a national nightmare. National shame. I still can’t believe it’s happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on The House of Vines and commented:
    Tove, our housemate and ritual partner, reflects on what’s happening in her homeland.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wyrd Designs says:

    Reblogged this on Wyrd Designs and commented:
    Polytheist and Freya’s devotee Tove talks about her Ukraine.

    Liked by 2 people

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