Darina Tkachenko was born in Ukraine, but she grew up in Argentina. She stayed in the South American country until 2001, when she returned to her beloved homeland, Ukraine.
Tkachenko lives in the capital, Kyiv. She has an interesting job: she is an expert in international education and her task is to represent Ukrainian universities in Latin America. She is constantly in contact with and working with young people from Latin America (and other parts of the world) who want to experience what it is like to live in Ukraine. She welcomes them and watches over their welfare during their stay. Now, that beautiful country they enjoyed is being attacked and invaded by a Russia thirsty for more power.
In an exclusive conversation with Agustina Blanco, editor at El American, she tells her experience on how it is like to live in the country just 8 hours before the Russian invasion.
Life in Ukraine
She pointed out that Ukraine has prepared its citizens to face the situation and to know how to act in the midst of an emergency. Darina said that it is not only because of this crisis that they are prepared but also because of the country’s history. She emphasized that many buildings already have bombproof basements or basic shelters in which they can withstand heavy blows. In addition, all subway stations have these features too.
“We have shelters. For example, the building I live in was built in 1965 and has a bomb shelter that has several bathrooms and showers inside. There is also some space to lie down. It is quite large and it can accommodate all the people in the building and some other neighbors.”
She maintained that the support of American intelligence has been paramount in making decisions. She highlighted that even in states that Russia declared as “independent”, citizens came out to support Ukraine. He said that “that voice is helping us a lot. That support helps us a lot, not only politics helps us make decisions, the people also help a lot.”
In relation to the question about the information war, Tkachenko spoke about the differences between the Ukrainian and Russian governments. “We live in the civilized world. We have access to information. In fact, we compare ourselves with the information the Russians receive. All statements were broadcasted live here,” she added.
Vladimir Putin’s decision comes at “a perfect moment due to the change of government in the United States”. “Since Putin came out with the ultimatum that he also intends to go against the countries that have already joined the European Union, but belonged to the Soviet Union before; that was the moment when the world understood that it was not an internal conflict anymore. They understood that Ukraine is the battlefield, but that it is going to move forward,” Tkachenko said.