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Darina Tkachenko, the Ukrainian woman who spoke exclusively with El American just 8 hours before the ruthless Russian attack, contacted me again today, Saturday, February 26. I grabbed the phone and when I saw that it was a message from her, I felt a bit of relief. I assumed that if she wrote to me it is a sign that she is still alive. She tells me she can’t talk, she can’t record, she can’t take pictures. But she tells me the following for the entire West to know:
Kyiv – Day 3 of war. The Russians with the support of Belarus are attacking us. They attack not only strategic places, they attack civilian buildings, they shoot civilians, children. They attacked an orphanage, a kindergarten, a children’s hospital, an oncology hospital, they kill civilians in their cars: that is terrorism. Everything is filmed and recorded by special bodies for international courts.
Me right now…
23:30 We are on air alert. I can’t record, but I’m going to write to you. Do you want my testimony?
I’m sitting in the middle of the apartment, in a corridor. We’re away from all the windows, under a basic wall of the building in its arch. My children are right in the middle, the youngest is holding my little dog Sasha and the oldest is reading the news that comes to us through a special medium that someday I will tell you about. On the sides we are with my husband and my parents. In case they start the bombing, we all cover the children. Around us are mattresses and quilts and other protection.
I am on the floor, I feel no fear. In my head I see different images of how to defend my children. I have momentary images of how I can, with the least amount of movements, hurt the enemy as fast as possible.
I imagine if I could also stop a tank, as many did today. I think I could. There is no room for doubt. Now it’s not just about my children, it’s about many children, many lives. I think about all my people. My multinational nation. My beautiful people, brave, stubborn, straightforward, resilient and heroic. Each one defends the country with what he can and how he can, but all united we act. I cannot yet tell everything that is happening here, but when all this is over, I will.
Ukraine and Kyiv are resisting, it is heroically defending our land. For now without details so as not to comment and let the enemy know. Better the intrigue…
While she says goodbye to me, sharp and firm, I hope from the bottom of my heart that she will send me messages again. Not only to let the free world know what is happening but to know that she and her family are still alive in the face of the Kremlin’s cruel invasion. Because whether I like it or not, the Tkachenko family is now part of my life.
Agustina Blanco, journalist. Graduate in Social Communication. She has written for several national and international media. Researcher of the Fundación LIBRE. Lives in Argentina // Agustina es periodista. Licenciada en Comunicación Social. Ha escrito para diversos medios nacionales e internacionales. Investigadora de la Fundación LIBRE. Vive en Argentina.