There were so many corpses: 365 days of war in Ukraine

Performance im Haus der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. Ukraine-Krieg. Ein Jahr Krieg.

One year ago, I sat in front of my computer screen watching the news. It was the morning of February 24, 2022. I saw the first columns of smoke rising behind Kiev.

Performance im Haus der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. Ukraine-Krieg. Ein Jahr Krieg.
Hanna Radziejowska (Pilecki Institute Berlin) and Vlada Vorobyova are part of a performance organized by Vitsche e.V. at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin in cooperation with Zentrum Liberale Moderne on 2/23/2023.

A year later, I’m sitting in Berlin. I am in the building of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. It is the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine. I recognized that I have become numb. Numbers have replaced names. Statistics have replaced stories and fates.

Daryna Lazareva, Diana Kiprach, Vlada Vorobyova perform the reports by war victims in German and Ukrainian at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Berlin, Germany. The German text on the screen reads: „One day after a bombing, a girl was brought to us with injuries at her limbs and inner organs. We had to *** remove her spleen and kidney.“

I hear about the names and the stories. I am reminded about the killings in Irpin and the massacre in Bucha. In Mariupol, the word „children“ was written in front of the theater when the Russian rockets came. „There were so many corpses.“ One child fled with his mother, many others still die everywhere. There are too many fates. The stories are torn appart by their own mass. It happens silently. No matter which fragments you pick up, they all add up to the same picture of death.

Where else can you go from here? – Perhaps to the effort of maintaining everyday life, as we know it, for as many people as possible until Ukraine is liberated from Russia’s invasion.