Oleg Tsarev: Victory Day in Ukraine

Victory Day in Ukraine is a protest against the occupation. Victory Day is a struggle for the right to preserve one’s identity. For preserving yourself, your beliefs, not betraying the memory of your parents. To oblige others to reckon with you! It’s an opportunity to feel the support of people like you. It is a day when you see with satisfaction the fear in the eyes of those who lie-lie-lie for all year from the TV screens. And who are still trying to do it today. But today they look pathetic. Today, no one complies with their prohibitions. And there’s nothing they can do about it.

Why do we need this? Because we are our parents. We wouldn’t be here without them. Because they live inside of us. They. In gymnastyorkas. Frost-bitten. In dirt and blood. Wounded. Not giving in. Enduring everything. Surviving.

We are the continuation of the survivors. But, moreover, we are a continuation of the dead ones?. We have no right to betray them. You cannot betray yourself, and them even more so! Because there is so much grief and blood. The price paid was too great!

There is a difference in how this day is celebrated in Russia and how it is celebrated in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, it is a challenge. It is a small feat. To come to the monument may be not allowed. In your presence, radicals may attack a woman because she came wearing a St. George’s ribbon, and you’ll have to stand up for her. You never know what might happen.

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Victory Day in Ukraine is not about the Great Patriotic War. It’s about the war that’s going on right now. In the souls of people. In the east of Ukraine. In the war that’s going on, and which we still have yet to win.

Oleg Tsarev

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