An honest story describing events and impressions from an eyewitness of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
22.09.2022, Kyiv, Ukraine – The book was written by an eyewitness of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He has been remaining in Kyiv from the very first day of the war until now.
The author tells his story of events from the perspective of Kyiv’s citizen, whose cosmopolitan life has been interrupted in one abrupt moment. This is a novel that describes events and impressions of a real person, not just a summary of news.
Wittily and funny written book about difficult and uneasy matters. Expect as much of a smirk, as of tears and sitting on the edge of your chair. A reader will learn about contemporary Ukrainians and their peculiarities. And will love them!
Incidentally, buying a book is a great way to help Ukraine: 20% of book sales are deducted to support the With Ukraine fund.
About the author
Victor Hlushchenko was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, 1983. He was writing this book right now, during the war in his native city. Author’s family moved to India in 1987-89, because his father got a contract at Calicut University as a teacher of Russian language and literature. His mother is a teacher of history, brother is a screenwriter and his grandpa is a poet (20+ books).
He graduated from the Institute of International Relations, Law faculty in 2006. Never worked as a lawyer though.
Started his professional career in an advertising agency, had experience in a cinema business, NGO, largest Ukrainian bank and a sporting goods distributor. From 2018 till now — CEO of Smartass, a network of Ukrainian fitness clubs.
As a writer he’s been training his skills as a columnist in Ukrainian fashion magazines, and as a spectator of his own life on Facebook and Instagram. Probably this e-book would never have happened if not for the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Before 24.02.22 he enjoyed traveling around the world, drinking wine and doing sports. He was planning to marry and overall had the time of his life.
After 24.02.22 he’s a newborn writer, extremely good-under-air-sirens football player and a proud owner of a crazy weimaraner dog named Hop.
Furthermore, Victor is currently looking for the British or American publishing houses to issue a paper version of the book and is open to cooperation.
A few parts of the book
- But even this SMS did not stop one athletic lady: our regular guest Oksana arrived for training at 7 a.m. and was sincerely surprised that there was no one in the club. I personally called her back, apologized, described the situation, and said that under such conditions we had decided to take a short break. It turned out that she had not heard any explosions but just woke up as usual, had breakfast and went to fitness class without opening any news or social networks. I’m sorry, Oksana, that we could not make that training for you! Hope you are safe now.
- Can you imagine what it is like to spend the whole day and night in a cold underground premises? Day in and day out again and again, and again. I sincerely hope not, and that you will never have to experience it for yourself. But Ukrainians felt it very well. It’s good if you managed to take warm clothes with you! And many people ran there with nothing, simply because they were not ready and were very afraid for their lives… Thousands of people underground without communication, without any ability to find out anything about their loved ones who are not nearby, without understanding what is happening above, what to expect… no plans for the future and just one goal – live through this day!
- Meet my dog, by the way! This is Hop, a one-and-a-half-year-old dog of the Weimaraner breed. I am pretty sure that without his joyful facial expression, big stupid ears, and constant activity, it would be much harder for me to endure these days. Right now, as I write this, he is biting and arguing with his leg because it attacked him apparently. Irreplaceable friend!
- In the morning, I decided to get to know all the guys better to try to launch a volunteer project with them. It quickly became clear that they were already thinking about something similar and we decided to join forces.
The main idea was to collect money and buy food, medicines, and everything necessary to help the inhabitants of Kyiv. Getting all these things somewhere free of charge was also welcome. As previously mentioned, many people needed help these days – people in bomb shelters, the elderly who refused to leave their apartments, and people who were just so stressed by this situation that they could not function properly.
- No, seriously. Think about it. Have you ever heard about Switzerland on the news? Do they have anything going on there at all? A goose was crossing the road in the wrong place and was hit by the mayor of the town, who was riding his bicycle to the nearest store for bread and milk? Or the cuckoo bird on Roger Federer’s clock didn’t go to work for the first time in 300 years?
Don’t get me wrong, I have great respect for Switzerland, and I envy it in the best way. I love to go snowboarding in the mountains there, I love Swiss chocolate and cheese and I believe there is nothing in the world more reliable than their banks and watches. I just wanted to give an example of a country where, in my opinion, everything is calm and stable. Please don’t cancel my visa!
- Such checkpoints had representatives of the territorial defense. Some famous people joined their ranks. For example, the world-famous boxers Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko. I would not want to get in the way of those guys… Especially the heavyweight Usyk. Although a lighter Lomachenko would have been enough for me to rest in the hospital for a month. And on top of that, now they were armed!
- We heard some noise, that could be someone’s cough. And it came from the inside of the building. Supposedly from the basement. The chill ran down our skin…
Our sweet conversation drained in the blink of an eye. We raised up and, as quiet as possible, moved towards the sound. Just in case I took what was the nearest – the unfinished bottle of wine. Iryna took the ice crusher, which, thank God, she noticed on the bar table. I wish I could tell you that these were the instruments to help us to cool our drinks…
- But while Yegor is doing well now, not everything is so well for another one of our trainers – Sasha, who works in Lviv. He did not serve, but his father died in this war. It happened near Kharkiv, just where our Yegor is stationed… The company, of course, helped him with the funeral and arranged to bring his father’s body to Lviv, but it’s nothing compared to what Sasha is going through. How awful that we have to talk about this kind of thing at all! He has now returned to his classes in Smartass. It helps him fight off depression and feel needed.
- In addition to all this sound and visual escorts, the grandmother herself was not the easiest person to rescue. First, she didn’t live by herself, but with a pug and… a 23-year-old magpie (a bird). A what-what-what?! I asked again as I listened to this story with my jaw on the ground? A magpie? It’s like a crow, but a magpie?.. In an apartment? And there was also a cage that was not her size and the magpie did not fit into it completely.
- When they stopped and opened the first aid kit, it turned out their suspicions were not unfounded: there was a blinking thing underneath all the medications in the medicine cabinet… It was a covert listening device!
- Anna Gerega, a witness in one of the cases, told the story of how her neighbor went out into the yard to get some firewood to keep warm, but the Russians kicked him in the leg so that he couldn’t go further, and then they shot off his left leg along with his shoe. After that they took pity on him, apparently remembering that they were humans, not animals, and shot him in the head.
- Water ran out completely and people began drinking water even from the radiators. In Ukraine, central heating in older houses is done by pushing hot water through radiators of the apartments. There was no food either and the townspeople were forced to hunt pigeons and eat their own pets. Can you imagine that? I barely could. Hop (my dog) too.
You can contact the author:
+380 (67) 440 07 22;
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