Ukrainian journalist: we cannot choose when we die, but we can choose how we die

Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv. Photo Ruslanas Iržikevičius

The smell of gunpowder in Ukraine has become even stronger since the Putin regime recognised the breakaway territories of Donbas. I wrote several letters of solidarity to journalists I know in Ukraine. I would like to share a reply I received from the journalist Serhii Guz (Сергій Гузь). It is very sad to read it, but the situation is what it is:

‚Thank you for your words of encouragement. To be honest, I am very sad at the moment. Sadly, the Russian people never got the chance to change their history and their place in history. Sadly, Putin’s ambition took the upper hand over common sense. It is sad that instead of friendship with Russia, we will have to go to war with them.

I am a very peaceful person, almost a pacifist in a sense. During all my journalistic career, I have always advocated defending human rights, defending the weaker, and even defending those Russians who have been held hostage by Putin. And now I am even more saddened that many good, talented Russians will find themselves defenceless in the face of the shaft of retaliatory sanctions the world community will heap on their shoulders. But there is nothing I can do for them now.

We have discussed the situation at home, and as one of the greats said, “we cannot choose when we die, but we can choose how we die”. I am sure that if we have to fight to the death, we will. The only pity is that now we have to spend all our energy and resources on opposing Putin and his aggression instead of reforming our economy, improving the social welfare of Ukrainians and other vital goals. But we have no other choice.

And it’s also nice to see that most Ukrainians around here don’t panic. It gives hope that Putin will not break us so easily, especially when we have such friends around us ready to help us. Thank you very much! Regards, Serhii.’

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