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The war in Ukraine. Stories of Ukrainian women waiting for the return of their husbands fighting the Russian occupiers

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Adrianna’s husband, a military driver delivering ammunition and provisions to the front, calls her less and less. He sends text messages, but there are days without any messages. Anna’s husband was seriously injured and is in the hospital. – I spend most of my time looking after my child, but my thoughts are always with Żenia – the woman confesses. Thousands of women in Ukraine are waiting impatiently for the return of their loved ones, fighting against the Russian occupiers.

Taras, husband of a western native Ukraine Adrianny, joined the army shortly after begun by Russia invasion. – All his friends went to fight, he said that he could not stand by the side – recalls the researcher. When asked about her reaction to her husband’s decision, she admits that she “cried and begged him not to go.” – I was so afraid for his life. I’m still scared every day – he confesses.


– He doesn’t tell me any details, it’s forbidden. At the beginning I asked more about the war, now we avoid this topic – he says. She adds that she most often talks to her husband about things not related to fighting: what he ate, whether he is feeling well, and about his family.

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The woman admits that she has been functioning for months only thanks to sedatives, and she also laments the situation in which her family and her countrymen have found themselves every day.

A soldier of the Ukrainian forces in positions facebook.com/MinistryofDefence.UA

Limited communication

– I talk to my husband every few days. He cannot have a phone with him, he only gets it occasionally to talk to his family, communication is very limited – says another Ukrainian woman, Anna. Zhenya – her husband – was seriously wounded in early July as a result of a rocket attack near Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine and is now in a hospital in the west of the country.

“I don’t know exactly what’s happening to him right now.” For the first few days after the attack, all I knew was that he survived, but was unable to speak. The hospital contacted his employer, who later notified me of the accident, the woman says. – I suspect that it was easier for the doctor to talk to someone who is not emotionally attached to my husband as I am – she explains to herself.

Answering a question about the beginning of the Russian invasion and Zenia’s decision to join the army, he says that “his first instinct was to protect me and our child.” – Therefore, first, hours before the occupation of our native Worzel by the Russians, he evacuated us to the west of Ukraine – recalls Anna. – Later, he entered the list of people ready for mobilization. He knew it was his duty. He was called after a month and was immediately directed to the east, where he stayed until the last attack on his unit, the woman says.

Ukrainians have been bravely opposing Russia for nearly four monthsTVN24

Far from the front

Anna recalls that until the last moment – until her husband left – she wanted to keep him. “I was hoping it would all be over soon and he wouldn’t have to go anywhere.” I know, however, that if Żeni and other soldiers were not at the front, the Russians would be here with their crimes now, says a woman living near Kiev.

As she says, it is difficult for her to come to terms with the sight of men far from the front. – It hurts me that when I go out into the street, I see so many young, strong men having fun and enjoying life – he explains. “The best of us are at the front right now,” he adds. Anna admits that stress accompanies her all the time, I feel surrounded by it, closed like in an aquarium. – It takes me most of my time to look after the child, but my thoughts are always with Zhenya, so all activities come automatically to me. I’m like a robot, he says.

Main photo source: facebook.com/MinistryofDefence.UA

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