Ukraine Wrap Up

“The war is always in the recesses of our mind, yet we live as normal as possible. If we cry, Russia wins.”

Repeating themes we were told:

  • We are stronger and more united than ever before in our history.
  • We have been growing economically and we work to continue that growth. We go about our daily life so people can work, pay bills and taxes.
  • We must show Russia they cannot kill our spirit.
  • Now is not the time to criticize our government; we must stand united. We can analyze government actions after the war.
  • Like children in crises everywhere, our children are paying a price. Their drawings reflect bombs and drones, and they respond to loud noises with fear.
  • We lost the Crimean Peninsula, so we support the government’s efforts to protect our borders. If we losoe any land now, Russia will be back in 10 years for more.

In Lviv there was no overt evidence of a war as in other places we visited. While in Lviv, there was an early morning drone attack on a warehouse near the Lviv airport. We were told there was a missile attack 50 miles from the city. Both were in the middle of the night. During our stay we did not hear any sirens.

We saw little military presence, yet we saw a city that was preparing. Many monuments were wrapped, church windows were covered, steel barriers by the side of the road.

Several nights we attended performances at the Lviv Opera House. Prior to the start of each performance, we were told what to do if an air raid occurred – in both Ukrainian and English. This announcement was followed by the orchestra playing the National Anthem.

On our walk thru the parkway to the opera house we came across three very distinct scenes that exhibited life in Lviv. A man giving toy guns to children shooting at a picture of Putin, a group of musicians, and seated on benches people were playing chess and backgammon.

On our drive to deliver medical supplies we noticed villages and towns showed different forms of tributes to their local fallen heroes; roadside billboards, others had smaller signs by the road and one town square was filled with large picture posters. Our driver said this honors those fallen heroes for the benefit of their families and their community.

Between 1918 and 2022 Ukraine has been invaded six times. This history has given us a deeper understanding of why Ukraine is committed to protecting their country and their democracy.

We thank all the Ukrainians for sharing their insights and personal stories.

Tama Adelman and Merita Callaway

Signing off from Lviv, Ukraine