"There is no fear. There is only endless, over-the-top disgust."
Oksana Reshetnyak is a native of Odessa. She is 47 years old and works as a human resources manager at an industrial enterprise. She describes herself as a citizen with an active attitude and was prepared for a full-scale invasion because she knew that the war began back in 2014. Here's her story:
– The war started in 2014. Although not everyone understood, but I am well versed in politics, and I care. That's when the breakage happened. I am a woman from Odessa. We (active citizens) understood that if the Russians went to Odessa, there would be no one to protect us at that point. We would have to flee. We already knew very well then who the Russians were and what they were doing in the occupied territories.
Fleeing the city where five generations of my ancestors were born, where everyone is mine, both living and dead. Leaving everything behind. From the city that is in my blood... Why?! They didn't go then. I guess they thought they'd come to Odessa when they wanted to. And I knew that I would meet the tanks with a small placard, realising the hopelessness. And that fear, pain, and despair I would never ask of them.
This photo is from a rally in Odessa on February 20, 2022. The purpose of the rally is to show that we are NOT waiting for them. The boy with the placard is my son.
By 2022 everything was clear and understandable. I knew for sure there was going to be a big war, it was just a question of when they would be ready. My family was fully prepared. Though my husband and daughter refused to believe it, but with their heads they understood it. At dawn we woke up, like everyone else, to explosions. But I was not afraid. We live a couple of kilometers from the airport. I knew from the explosions that they were bombing the "runway" and the equipment. So their planes don't land here, it means they didn't give us up and they will fight. That's all that matters.
We left with the children, my grandmother and the animals under the Romanian border, the only place that was more or less safe, and we lived there for five days... And I came home. It was clear to me that Nikolaev would hold out no matter what it took. Honor and glory to all of Nick's defenders! They also saved Odessa from a nightmare. From the fate of Marik (Mariupol - tr.) or Kherson.
We live at home, we are lucky. There are some arrivals. All spring and summer rockets flew in half a kilometer away from our dacha. We had to survive one big explosion, our sea is mined, there are difficulties with work, often there is no light for a long time. But that's all bullshit.
There is no fear. There is only endless, over-the-top hatred, disgust and anger. There is an absolute faith in victory, in the fact that we can do it. We will be free, we will defend our right to live and be human. We will build our country the way we want. Probably not soon, but we will. I hope to live to see it. My children are well educated. We all love to travel, but we want to live only at home, in our beloved Ukraine.
About the Russians... I am from Odessa, I speak both Ukrainian and Russian. But this is our "southern Russian". When I hear Russian "from there" somewhere on YouTube, I cringe. I'm afraid if I hear it live, the reaction will be only one - "beat to the sound".
Since 2014, I haven't bought, listened to, or watched anything [Russian] at all. And yes, back then it was very painful, very lacking, tearing at my stomach. Especially the books. But such betrayal on the part of people! About your authorities it was all clear even then. It was painful and unpleasant. And now that's it. I understand, of course, about those 5-10 percent, that it is difficult for them, but ... it is not a pity.
I think I can only talk to those who will tell me what they did [so that there was no Russian invasion]. Or with those who left, assimilated with normal people and are called German or something else. NOT A RUSSIAN. Or, at most, a former Russian. Otherwise how are you different from the rest? Because you didn't kill? Well, good for you. Did you vote? Did you pay taxes? Did you live within the system? Did you condone it? Allowed the population to be fooled? Doesn't everyone realise that this has been done long ago and systematically? Is Putin not satisfied with it NOW? And before that? And everything else?
No ending. Glory to Ukraine!