Initial war euphoria begins to turn into grief and mourning in Ukraine

The Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in the center of Lviv is crowded. A crowd bids farewell to four soldiers killed in the missile attack on the Yavoriv military base last Sunday, with songs and prayers.

The four coffins are in the central nave. On a side altar, a banner with the face of Christ hangs from a cross surrounded by pieces of missiles, artillery shells, canteens pierced by projectiles and an unrecognizable mass of metal twisted by explosions.

The attack on Yavoriv was the largest in the Lviv region since the start of the war. At least 35 people died and 134 were injured. The Russians claimed to have killed 180 “mercenaries” and destroyed a stockpile of weapons sent by the West.

The base is on the main route of entry of NATO “defense” weapons (mainly anti-tank missiles and rockets) from Poland to Ukraine. The attack is an indication that Russia will start bombing Ukrainian supply lines.

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But a bombardment so close to an area once seen as a safe haven on the Ukrainian wall has affected the morale of thousands of volunteers and civilians, who a few days ago were eagerly looking for ways to join the fight. against Russia. They did jobs such as organizing and distributing food, producing camouflage nets or “internet warfare” – Ukrainian propaganda spread on social media.

According to the Ukrainian government, at least 1,300 soldiers have already been killed in the clash with Russia. Western powers estimate that number could actually be as high as 4,500 at present. The number of civilians killed exceeds 635, according to the UN.

These statistics are beginning to take the form of funerals and mourning. The euphoria of the battle gives way to sadness, but not so much that the Ukrainians stop believing in victory against the Russian invader. Difficulties seem to unite people even more.

At a secretly located military base in Lviv, hundreds of people who have managed to escape from bombed cities across the country report to the local government. Women and children are sent to shelters or outside Ukraine.

The men receive documents and are sent to military units, where they will receive weapons and brief training. In a building near the IDP line, a group of plainclothes gentlemen can be seen emerging from a barracks carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles and brand new bayonets.

“I came here to defend my country. I had to leave my town, which is now in Russian hands. They loot and kill everyone, including children,” said volunteer Viktor Bilanko.

He also said that his family is afraid of what could happen to him, but understands that nothing can be worse than the scenario in which the country is dominated by Russians.

With all the men of service age in the trenches, it now seems that only Ukrainians are waiting for international help.

“We hope that NATO will come to our aid, but we also hope that countries around the world will come to our aid. Because this war is against the number one evil in the world: Russia. People around the world must understand that today we are fighting a battle between the civilized world and evil,” said Ukrainian army soldier Taras Esachyk.

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