I am not a military man. I never aspired to be a military man. I am a historian, a researcher, a museum worker. And a bit of a writer. I should be devoting my time to research and to writing. But at the moment, I am in the army because there is war in my country.

Every day, we engage in artillery duels, in which one successful arrival of an enemy projectile would turn us into mincemeat. We sleep in the backs of trucks on crates and take a shower once a month. When it rains, we’re wet; when it’s muddy, we’re dirty as hell; and in winter, we get frostbitten. We eat when there is a free moment and catch a bit of sleep when we can. And all the time, the enemy has us in their sights.

And thousands of other practitioners of peaceful professions—historians, writers, accountants, bank employees, IT specialists, teachers, designers—are in similar conditions. Some have already perished. And some who survive will be so traumatized that they will never be able to return to their professions. But we continue to fight. Because Ukraine is behind us. Because if we lay down our arms, our parents will be killed, our wives and daughters raped, our homes destroyed.

We will never surrender. Russia must be defeated. We need you to continue to support us with weapons, materiel, and sanctions. With your help, we will defeat Russia and thereby reduce the threat of a global catastrophe.

We have the one indispensable thing that cannot be bought—motivation. We Ukrainians have left our peaceful professions to fight for our country. Our young people are spending their best years under the threat of death. Ukrainians will fight as long as they can resist.

What will you do?

With respect,
Nazar Rozlutsky
Abridged.  Translated by Lina Bernstein.

* Here is a recent post from Rozlutsky’s Facebook:
In the fall of 2021, I often dreamed of rejoining the army and going to war. Upon waking, I’d think, “Thankfully, it’s just a dream.” Now, I sometimes dream that I’m home. I wake up and think, “Sadly, it’s only a dream.”

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Marianna Epstein

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Marianna Epstein