How has your attitude toward the holidays changed since the war began? A selection of Eyewitnesses' responses to February 24
May 9 is approaching, a day that used to unite Russians in celebrating victory over fascism. But after February 24, 2022, the attitude of many people in Russia toward holidays in general and Victory Day in particular has changed dramatically. Recently, we asked our subscribers what's wrong with the serene nationwide celebrations now. We have included some of the answers in this selection:
- As of February 24, 2022, I stopped thinking about them [holidays] at all. I stopped going to concerts, movies, etc. In a country that destroys people's lives, to celebrate something is to surrender to that very oblivion. It reigns in the minds of people who send bombs to Ukrainian cities and themselves to Turkish beaches. I will rejoice in life when people in Ukraine can do so, and I will rejoice for them.
- After the start of the war [there were] no calendar holidays at all, they lost their meaning. On March 8, 2022, I picked up my husband from the TDF. He spent 5 days there for picketing "Our grandfathers gave their lives for peace! I guess for me then it was truly a woman's day to pick up my husband.
On the day of my arrest, we had a natural disaster in our city: a hurricane, heavy rain, hail, and then frost. Lights, water, heating were cut off, communication was lost. I am alone with my children in a cold apartment, without water. Supermarkets were closed, small private stores jacked up prices. There are poles with torn-out wires in the streets. We lived like this for four days while my husband was in the "sanatorium" of the TDF. In those days I associated myself with the people in Mariupol, as if a sign from above - "put yourself in those people's shoes. It seemed as if the war was here: there it was, how could you people not see it!
Before May 9 the police came to us with a check-up and a warning not to leave the house on May 9, otherwise they would arrest us.
May 9 and February 23 are generally buried for me. On the 23rd I do not congratulate any of my friends or relatives, in the morning I put a black screen with a candle in my status. And on February 24th, too. For me it is mourning, which lasts for the second year.
Easter, one of the greatest feasts of Orthodoxy, is supposed to bring peace and goodness. But I am tempted to write a denunciation against all believers for "insulting the feelings of believers. Believing in God and yet killing and blessing to kill is not a violation of the commandment? My children and I always used to paint eggs before Easter on the Sabbath. Last year I did not have the moral strength to do it: after Bucha I did not want to wake up and go on living. This year the kids and I dyed eggs, but the colors were blue and yellow. In the status I put a photo with eggs in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and signed it "Peace all over the world and goodness!"
Now May 9 seems like a demonic holiday. Pseudo-patriotism makes me want to vomit. Silence can make you go crazy. Children! They are the only ones who make you be careful, living in Russia.
Lyudmila, 48, Novosibirsk:
- I was lucky not to lose family and friends over a disagreement. My mother is 68 years old. And she too is very bitter about what is going on. For Easter she wrote these verses:
- He is truly risen
and looks down on us from heaven:
"People, what have you done,
you have killed your soul in yourselves.
I love you,
I forgive you,
but I do not accept murder.
- The days from 24.02.2022 are counted by Feigin. I watched Easter in 2022 on YouTube, broadcast from Kiev. This is despite the fact that for decades we have been attending Orthodox services. All of the holidays are STARred by the war. We have no right to them. The Ukrainians do, but we don't. And the Russian state no longer has the right to celebrate Victory Day! Only those families that now have no war criminals (war participants).
All the years I walked with my grandfather's portrait in the column of the Immortal Regiment in Moscow. Now only flowers [at the monuments] to Lesya Ukrainka and T. Shevchenko. They brought down the Victory. Now Russia will be charged for the entire 20th century and especially for this war. How to define the state of people who understand everything, who stay in Russia and cannot convey this understanding even to their loved ones? This is torture of the soul.
What holidays?! They're hitting people in their sleep with rockets. Children! God is being charged by the Ukrainians, and God will not talk back with the same words he used to talk to Job.