December 2, 2022

УСІМ | UWIN

Українська світова інформаційна мережа | Ukrainian Worldwide Information Network

I DIDN’T THINK I COULD FEEL SHAME…​

2 min read

I did not plan to visit Bucha. I did not plan to use LinkedIn for a political message. I didn’t think I could feel shame because of my heritage. I didn’t think my friends and colleagues would experience the horrors of war.

During a trip to our office in Lviv, Ukraine a couple of days back, I was asked by a colleague if I was going to visit Bucha. I responded that it’s not on the agenda, but that night we took a 7-hour drive. After multiple checkpoints and occasional reminders of the grim realities of the war, by the morning, we were in Irpin, Bucha, and Hostomel (three small towns on the border of Kyiv retaken by Ukraine from the Russian occupation) with a prosecutor working on the crimes committed during the Bucha massacre.

Just before the war, as risks of Russian invasion were widely discussed, I was passionately explaining to our stakeholders how close Ukrainians and Russians are and how Russian people can’t be made to shoot Ukrainians. I was living in a bubble of optimism and ignorance. Walking through the evidence of senseless killing and destruction, and learning about torture, rape, and neglect of human life, changed me forever.

I will never forget the smell, the kid’s toy in the civilian car overrun by a tank, the weight of comprehending the impossible uniting thousands around you, the bullet holes, the shrapnel everywhere, the looting, the first-hand personal stories of horrific suffering and injustice. I’m posting a few pictures I took, but it doesn’t capture the extent of it all.

Every day brings more horror and mass suffering on the front and in Russian-occupied territories. Every day rockets are hitting civilians throughout the country. Whatever the root cause of the atrocities, whatever needs to be done to avoid future tragedies, it is our human responsibility to stand with Ukrainians now. I urge you to spread the word and work with your local politicians to do more. We are all citizens of the planet, and we are all responsible for one another.

Eugene Goland


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