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Support Story - Lily

We are posting a series of articles with stories from our employees in Ukraine in their own words.  Below is one of those stories; if you'd like to read more, click here.



I did not take the threat of attacks on Kyiv seriously, although I was worried by what I saw in the news. It seemed unthinkable. On the 23rd of February, while running other errands I finally caved and bought a powerbank and some snacks and packed them with water, laptop and documents in a small backpack “that I probably won’t need anyway”. If it’s not an example of doing things last minute, then I don’t know what is. I’ve spent the last two months with this backpack.

On the 24th of February when the first missiles hit Kyiv I went to my friend’s place in a village nearby and worked from there. What happens during war is that all the normal ties and processes break apart very fast. The places that were just a few stops away are now almost impossible to reach, you have to make do with what you have and what’s left on the shops’ shelves. The conveniences of a big city life like deliveries, public transport, taxies have almost disappeared. It was safe at my friend’s place then but I did not know how the things would escalate so when Software Mackiev offered to move to a safer part of the country I accepted. Getting to the bus was scary and difficult without any public transport or a car, so I hitchhiked part of my way through the city, divided by checkpoints by that time.

I stopped working only for one day when I went away from Kyiv with my colleagues to a safe place, and I kept working everywhere I stayed during these two months. I find my work calming because you get to communicate with people who have normal, mundane things to worry about. It gives me hope that our life will also return to normality very soon. I am very grateful for all the kind words of support we get in our live chats and to Software Mackiev for all their efforts in keeping us safe so we could continue our work.

I stay in a small hotel in a village in Western Ukraine. The nature is beautiful and people mostly used to come here for retreat. Now I see people working remotely everywhere, like at gas stations and in cafes. It is quiet and peaceful, so the internet connection is the only thing to worry about here.

Overall, I think I am lucky compared to many Ukrainians. I still have a job, I am safe and I did not see the ugly side of war in person. For me, it only shows itself in lines in shops, air raid alarms popping up on my smartphone, constant checking of news and never-ending, heartbreaking worrying for my relatives, who stay in a war-ridden part of the country.

I wish I could do more for my country, I see examples of people doing so much more everyday! Working and staying sane is all I can do. I know we will win and I can’t wait for it to happen.



Our life is harder than it was a year ago. After power stations were bombed, our life changed in so many ways. Traffic lights are off during blackouts, and you have to be careful while crossing the street. I saw traffic wardens on crossroads directing traffic for the first time in many years. Trams and trolley buses are defunct, and buses go instead, with route numbers hastily written by hand on pieces of paper. In my apartment block all our cooking and heating was powered by electricity, so during blackouts we have to make do without hot food, drinks and showers. The lack of information is more oppressive than darkness in the streets, because when the power is out so are mobile phone connection and Internet, with my smartphone being little more than a flashlight. Businesses are adapting to the situation – the noise from small diesel generators is ubiquitous. 

The amount of cases that need help is mounting and never ending. Even though my money donations are small, there is so much to do beyond that. My old green and brown clothes went on strips to make camo nets to cover military vehicles. My old plushies and children’s book went to refugee children. My empty cans from groceries are made into ‘trench candles’.  I am glad to be in a place where I have energy and resources to help others and I hope for the best.

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