Ukraine: ‘I am not a soldier, I am a citizen at conflict’

Wednesday marked exactly six months since Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

The UN estimates that about 12 million people have been displaced in that time. Among them is the family of Kyiv resident Ilyas Verdiev, who was only recently granted permission to break a national travel ban on all males aged 18 to 60 and visit his wife and sons who fled in Poland.

But despite enjoying cherished and long-awaited family time in safe surroundings, the IT specialist touches on a wider turmoil rooted in an ever-growing sense of surging nationalism.

Ilyas in Kyiv

"To be honest, I don't want to go home," Ilyas explains. "And I don't want to go back to my empty house, because it doesn't feel like home when it's empty, you wake up every morning and there is no one making a noise.

"No one is running around chasing, preparing, taking breakfast. It's just you in there.

"But on the other hand I want to be in Kyiv. It's really weird, because I feel like I belong there more.

Web Search Engine

"I don't know how to explain that. Kyiv is home, Ukraine is home."

More on Podcasts

Related Topics:

Verdiev, along with fellow citizens Oksana and Seva started documenting their personal experiences of life in a warzone through a series of audio diaries shortly after the Russian invasion.

Ilyas documents people leaving Kyiv six months ago on Feb 24, 2022

Ilyas documented people leaving Kyiv six months ago

Throughout that time, his dream of being reunited with his family has been a constant thought on his mind. Yet, months of war has brought with it myriad personal conflicts.


"I just don't know how to be here, in the quiet of Poland, in a quiet place, knowing there is war going on," he continues.

"Obviously I'm helping the army, I'm still donating. But it feels like you have to be there though I'm not a soldier. This is the vortex of feelings I have now."

This week the Ukraine War Diaries podcast marked its one millionth listen on the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's independence from Russia.

Subscribe to the Ukraine War Diaries on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Spreaker

From the creators of Sky News' award-winning StoryCast, Ukraine War Diaries is a weekly podcast following those living on Europe's new frontline, and those who have escaped it.

Producer: Robert Mulhern

Digital promotion and additional writing: Soila Apparicio

Artmotion UK

Artmotion web

Our team utilizes Artmotion Net as the default account to write and support our online magazine. Regarding Artmotion's members involvement in current events happening in Europe.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button