“Monday was a mix of different events. On the one hand it was [another in] the continuing string of horrific acts from Russia, and on the other, a fairly commonplace hiccup in everyday life. I woke up around 8am and heard a distant noise. Right after, I heard a huge explosion. It was pretty close and looked like the real thing. I took my dog down the hall with his dog bed and toy. My partner and I packed a backpack – I still have my ID and medical cards inside, and added some dog food, two tourniquets and my laptop.
We started charging our devices. I made coffee and my partner made himself oatmeal. I was too stressed to eat, so I lay half on the floor and half on the dog bed, scrolling through Telegram channels to try to figure out what happened. My emotions were 24 differente February, when explosions also occurred in Kyiv. I was calmer, less angry. When the war started, you didn’t know what was going on – are you going to die? Will your loved ones die? What will happen to your country? It’s not that I wasn’t scared this time, but there was this feeling that you just had to wait. For example, even if something happens to you, your country will still win this war. Because of this knowledge, I guess the situation was more bearable.
Then it got scarier. There was a huge explosion that seemed so close that I thought if I left my house and looked back, half of it wouldn’t be there. From that moment, it was a countdown until the wave of explosions was over. Strangely, we became calmer: we looked at memes, I started responding to work chats. I know it sounds pretty crazy, but somehow your brain adapts to everything. We were in our hallway until the overhead alarm went off. Then we went to see the damage and buy a cappuccino.
People came back from the shelters with backpacks, someone started sweeping up the broken glass, and our favorite vendors opened their stores. Everyone was moving a bit wildly and people looked very dumbfounded. Lots of windows were smashed but it didn’t look like serious damage, more like a big waste of money [for Russia]. I was worried if there had been people in an office building nearby, because it seemed to me that [Russia] picked a time when everyone was going to work. It is a 116 m high building and the whole facade has been broken. He looked helpless, like a naked skeleton. You could see office tables and blinds inside, even plants, strewn on the floor.
Then the mundane part of the day began. I picked up a package for a friend who is in the military and we drove home. I thought if I could use that as an excuse not to work. We laughed about it saying “hey, a bomb fell two minutes from our house, that sounds like a pretty reasonable excuse not to work! But I decided I had to do something and started chatting with my clients and team to check in on how everyone was doing. Some of my colleagues are in Lviv and 90% of the city was without electricity or telephone network. My clients are from the United States. They were very supportive and kept telling us that our safety was the top priority. But we still worked and even released an update for users that we had planned before all this happened.
Could I imagine something like that when I watched war movies in the past? Definitely not. What can I add? I am impressed by the bravery, sense of humor and dedication of our people. When the explosions happened, people immediately donated about $3 million to help us, and I raised additional funds for my initiative to buy walkie-talkies for the military. Our municipal services repaired the hole in one of our roads almost immediately. We are not afraid. We know why we keep fighting. And how it will all end.