Children have seen their life in Ukraine upended as a result of Russia's invasion of their country.
Ukrainians have responded with incredible bravery while withstanding the onslaught from Russia over the past week. Ordinary people have come to the fore to resist the invasion and to help one another during the crisis. One teacher is going viral for trying to instill a sense of normalcy to children stuck in a bunker by taking classes for them. The picture of her taking classes was shared on TikTok, where it went viral, garnering more than 27,000 views. The video was shared by the user @chicknmilk, who urged others to share the photo. They captioned the photo: "My heart is breaking. My friend in Kyiv sent me this picture of her friend 🥺. Please help the people of Ukraine." The on-screen text read: "This is a Ukrainian teacher teaching her class in a bunker despite the invasion."
Children have seen their life in Ukraine upended as a result of Russia's invasion of their country. In the image, children could be seen huddling together, listening to their teacher. Many lauded the spirit of the teacher to take classes in such adversity. "Omg the will to overcome the challenges is amazing. I'm praying for them," wrote one user. Another commented, "All those sweet babies holding their stuffed animals… 😔💔 Thankful they have their teacher." In response to a comment, @chicknmilk wrote, "Ukrainians are honestly stronger than we are. My friend has been cool as a cucumber somehow. 😂 I don’t know how. "
A teacher named Olena Kurilo has become a symbol of the human cost of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine https://t.co/3J4UFK5WHZ— The Times (@thetimes) February 25, 2022
Images of teachers have been integral in capturing the ground reality of Russia's attack and resistance of Ukraine. An image of a bloody-faced Olena Kurilo was one of the first images highlighting the gravity of the situation on the ground level. Kurilo, a 52-year-old teacher, was injured after her Chuguiv home was bombed. She has since spoken out about the incident and the attack. "I never thought that such a thing could happen. I never thought that this would truly happen in this lifetime," she said in a video uploaded to Twitter by EuroNews, reported PEOPLE. "We wrote poems about the war. I myself am a director, an educator; we studied history but we never thought that this would happen on our land. The house is completely destroyed, there are no windows, no doors, one door even flew out. Even the floor has been completely ripped off," she added.
Kurilo said she considered herself very lucky to have survived. "I must have a very strong guardian angel for me to have stayed alive. I will stand up and go, I will do everything for Ukraine, as much as I can, with as much energy as I have. I will always only be on my motherland's side," she said, before summing up the resilience of everyday Ukrainians. "Never, under any conditions will I submit to Putin. It is better to die," she said.
She also called on Putin to put an end to this “meaningless war.” She reiterated that no one wants this war. “Please, get the message across that Ukraine does not want to harm anyone. Ukraine is a very friendly nation,” said Kurilo, reported New York Post. “Our mothers will lose their children, old people and children will die, ordinary people will die innocent of anything.” She also made an appeal to Russians. “I call on all mothers in Russia not to let their children go to war,” she said. “This is a meaningless war, it will not bring happiness to anyone, it will not make anyone richer. We want peace."
Julia, a teacher and Ukrainian volunteer, weeps as she waits to be deployed to fight Russian troops around Kyiv on Saturday. Ukrainian civilians have taken up arms and joined the battle to keep control of the capital. https://t.co/dstRTHIW8F pic.twitter.com/Icvw3wb43m— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 26, 2022
Another image that stood was that of Julia, a teacher, weeping as she held a gun in her hand. She had volunteered to fight Russian troops around Kyiv and was among many civilians who took up arms to defend their country. On Wednesday, Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, was subjected to "massive shelling and bombing," reported CNN.