Yulia, from Zaporizhia
Azov battalion, Mariupol
During Maidan I thought that it’s all nonsense, I didn’t really care and tried to stay neutral and levelheaded. It all changed in February when they shot bunch of people – something broke inside of me.
And then the war started. First time I visited my boyfriend here at Azov. Couldn’t stay calm at home, I just wasn’t able to do the everyday stuff there when I knew what’s going on here.
After that I came back home to Zaporizhia for a bit and returned here to stay. My friend thought I’m crazy, but of course they understood. Also it became clear who is your real friend and who was just hanging around…
What surprised me here the most is the amount of smart, well-educated people among the soldiers. People with multiple diplomas, speaking few languages and still came here to fight.
I wouldn’t say that I’m scared. It was more scary when I was at home knowing what’s happening at war rather than being here. You get used to things. Your perspectives change, your priorities change.