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.
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.
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.