Diary of War

26 February 2022

Day three

Oleksandr [Zaporizhzhia]

I wake up and—without a minute wasted—my mum and I pack up our stuff. We’re leaving.

Aside from our emergency backpacks, I take my laptop to keep myself entertained and write this very diary. My mum’s packing food, water and other supplies that I gladly carry on my shoulders.

We leave our lights on—there are looters in the area—and lock the door. It takes us an hour to reach my grandparents’ country house on foot. Car after car passes us. People are armed—I think they’re from the territorial defence of Zaporizhzhia. They guard crucial infrastructure and buildings that might be targeted. 

I don’t film them or share the news with my friends—Russian troops might use these videos to find out when our troops are moving and where to.

The streets are empty. Each and every business is closed. Public transport has stopped bringing people to their destinations. It’s eerie—the silence only interrupted by the wind. 

Once we reach the country house, we make a deal with my grandparents. We stay together. 

Tonight, I only hear distant explosions.