so they face the Russian soldiers and refuse the air-raid shelters-

Of Giusi Fasano

The stories of men and women who no longer have the strength or the desire to escape. Women mourn their husbands killed. But in front of a child, old people always smile

LEOPOLI – It is February 25th. The war started a day ago and in Henichesk, on the Sea of ​​Azov, a white-haired lady approaches a soldier of the Russian troops who have just arrived in the city. “What are you doing here, in our land?” she asks her. Him: “Go away, this conversation leads nowhere.” Her: «Take this seed and put it in your pocket, at least when you die a flower will be born». In Voznesensk, in the Mikolaiv region, a few days later an elderly couple confronted and hunted three Russian soldiers who had entered the backyard.
“Go away, you are not welcome here.” In a village near Volnovakha, north of Mariupol, the police try to persuade Elizaveta Saveliivna, 74 years old, to move to a shelter. “I never will. This is my home, I cannot leave it », she is adamant. Then the very old Valentynthe last to greet the village of Teterivske, west of Kiev.

Or Mrs Olana Shcewchenko that she left her Uman, south of Kiev, only to accompany her grandchildren to Lviv, “and now I’m going back because I don’t want my husband to be there alone. We have animals and we will not let them die. Let the Russians do what they want. ” Small actions of daily resistance and courage, often documented by films that go around the world. Old. People who have been in their 80s for a while. Men and women who no longer have the strength or the will to take root in another place because they know that there is no place where those roots could take root again. More tired than scared. More resigned than angry. Sometimes they stay where their lives used to be even if their house is bombed or if they hear the tanks moving a few meters away from them. Someone dares venture to a courtyard, a garden, to see what becomes of the world out there and who is left alive, if they realize they are still alive.

Almost all women have the grandmother, the handkerchief tied under the chin which is also the term with which the Russians define the elderly. They tie the knot and cry, inconsolable crying. Those who are gone cry, the families they know are far away and safe or those they have known nothing about for weeks cry. Children cry at the front and the future is shattered. Old people far from their reference points, who feel alone and lost even when they are not. If they decide to leave, you see them getting exhausted and dismayed from the buses in the humanitarian corridors, trains or makeshift cars that brought them to safety. With the back bent under the weight of the years and with the faces marked by sorrow. Patient and orderly, lining up to have a hot meal, to cross the border, to know under which roof they will wait for the next morning. In their horizon there is only one ray of sunshine that can illuminate the gray sky of this war: children. Grandchildren or strangers it doesn’t matter. In front of a child, old people smile. Always.

April 6, 2022 (change April 6, 2022 | 23:15)


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