oDR: Opinion

Ukrainian journalist: ‘We cannot choose when we die, but we can choose how’

The only pity is that now we must spend all our energy and resources on opposing Russia instead of improving Ukraine, writes Serhiy Guz

Serhiy Guz
24 February 2022, 10.42am
The State Border Guard Service in the Kyiv region was this morning shelled
Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs/Twitter

Russian forces have attacked Ukraine following months of diplomatic tension between the two countries and the West.

The Kremlin has decided it needs to keep Ukraine in its orbit, while Ukraine has opted for self-determination.

Ukrainian journalist Serhiy Guz last night shared his thoughts on Russia’s threats to Ukraine, in response to a request from Lithuania Tribune journalist Ruslanas Iržikevičius.

openDemocracy here republishes the letter by Guz, an experienced reporter, writing from the city of Kam’yanske on the Dnipro river.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. To be honest, I am very sad at the moment.

Sadly, the Russian people never got the chance to change their history and their place in history. Sadly, Putin’s ambition took the upper hand over common sense. It is sad that, instead of friendship with Russia, we will have to go to war with them.

I am a very peaceful person – almost a pacifist, in a sense. During all my journalistic career, I have always advocated defending human rights, defending the weaker, and even defending those Russians who have been held hostage by Putin.

And now I am even more saddened that many good, talented Russians will find themselves defenceless in the face of the shaft of retaliatory sanctions the world community will heap on their shoulders. But there is nothing I can do for them now.

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We have discussed the situation at home, and as one of the greats said: “We cannot choose when we die, but we can choose how we die.” I am sure that if we have to fight to the death, we will.

The only pity is that now we have to spend all our energy and resources on opposing Putin and his aggression instead of reforming our economy, improving the social welfare of Ukrainians and other vital goals. But we have no other choice.

And it’s also nice to see that most Ukrainians around here aren’t panicking. It gives me hope that Putin will not break us so easily, especially when we have such friends around us ready to help us. Thank you very much! Regards, Serhiy.

This story was originally posted on the Lithuania Tribune.

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