“If we look at the war as a tragedy, we are powerless. But there is another way of looking at the situation – to collect living testimonies from those who suffered in it. So far we have spoken to 300 people, we are creating a database that we will provide to lawyers, the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office and of the International Court of Justice,” Gumenyuk said. She listed the more famous cases. “At the Kramatorsk station, 59 innocent people died from a deliberate and well-aimed weapon. 22 young workers lost their lives in a shopping center, fired from a place from which weapons were directed towards Odessa, and it cannot be by chance. We also have a story of a family with two girls and two boys, whose father was detained, interrogated, beaten and released. And his children were offered a choice – either to experience the same as their father, or to go to Russia,” she said.
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The journalist mentioned over 100 cases of people being deported and tortured in the occupied part of Ukraine. According to her, they are kidnapping those loyal to the state of Ukraine. They think they are agents and spies. “We see that this is a war not against the army, but against the civilian population!” Gumenyuk said. And he told about a case in which a beaten Ukrainian asked young Russian soldiers: “What did you get for beating me?”, and they answered him: “That you are all afraid of us!”.
The Ukrainian army numbers 1 million people
If before the war the Ukrainian army numbered 87 thousand people, today its ranks number 1 million. “We don’t want it to be like in Bucha!”, is their argument for participating in the military actions, the journalist said.
“These people are very tired, especially those who left to fight at the beginning of the war. They haven’t seen their loved ones,” Gumenyuk said. “But war is an expensive thing, and in the economy, someone always has to work. At the moment, prisoners and people under 27 are not being mobilized, and it is expected that this limit will fall to 25. Moreover, no one sanctions those who do not want to fight, said the Ukrainian woman.
“We are currently witnessing a war in a well-functioning democratic state. Banks and post offices have not stopped working. Kyiv, where my family lives, is very much like Sofia, except for the evening hour and the digital app that announces an airstrike with the voice of Sky Walker from Star Wars, she said.
What does victory mean for Ukraine?
According to her, a victory would mean an agreement with security guarantees for Ukraine, that Russia will not attack it again. “It is not necessarily about membership in NATO, but about security similar to that which the Alliance provides,” she clarified.
Asked what would happen if there were elections in the country, Gumenyuk replied: “There is a public consensus that there should not be elections in Ukraine at the moment, when 1 million of the population are on the front line and several million more are refugees. It cannot to ensure neither logistics nor observers for possible elections,” explained the journalist.
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“However, how can we reconcile with Putin, since we are going to judge him in The Hague?” asked the journalist rhetorically. According to her, it is most reasonable to seek responsibility for the murdered innocents – 440 lost their lives in Bucha alone.
“If the Ukrainians stop fighting, many people will die. However, if the Russians stop fighting, the war will end and they will go home,” Gumeniuk concluded, thanking the Bulgarians for supporting the Ukrainian cause in the war.
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