The world is a tiny place of intimacy that informs a greater expanse of suffering. My new friend, Alexander Grushchansky, lives in Ukraine. Before the war he was a jeweler. Now he fires a machine gun. Alexander is also an NFT Artist who raises money with his Art to help pay for the fight against Putin’s illegal war. Alexander and I became friends through his Art, and we have subsequently stayed in communication via Discord where we have held public conversations about the war, and shared private thoughts about the real meaning of a war on a people. Here is Alexander’s story, in diary form, in his own words, processed through translation software. Embedded video was also uploaded by Alexander for publication. All of this is to set forth to tell the truth about what’s really happening in Ukraine, right here, right now.
AUGUST 7, 2022
Where we are standing is not so dangerous, it just takes time. And going to the front line is not much more difficult, but it is very nice to see that you are useful. Yesterday I spent the whole day with my family. We agreed that if it was too dangerous I would send my family abroad. Thank you so much , honestly I was giving up , I stopped believing in myself and in the benefits of tweeting. Now I believe that there is a benefit and we can do a lot with you. Even to provide information to others is a great benefit. And with your help, people will see that not all Russians are bad, I understand how difficult it is for someone with a Russian passport now.
I am so tired my friend, the arrival is not so far from me on the location of the military there are very many victims. Honestly, sometimes you go crazy, you try to support your family, even though it is very difficult now, you try to do everything to win quickly, but there are bastards who rent out the location of our soldiers for money. Your heart is breaking, you are spending all you can, and you are taking out loans. And there are scum who have no homeland, but only money in their heads. I cannot understand how you can be like that.
And there are such bastards. There are not many of them, they are caught, but unfortunately there is war for some, and money and business for others. No one understands that money is just paper and you can’t take it with you to the afterlife. And if you lose your freedom, you won’t get rich. Please forgive me for sharing the bad stuff, it just hurts me to tears. Good night and peaceful skies.
AUGUST 15, 2022
I’m on duty today. In half an hour, a curfew, we with weapons stop and check documents, so that DRG (enemy saboteur groups) did not break through. [If they break through] we must detain or destroy them. Once a week we go to shootings and get training, I was not in the army before the war.
This year we will most likely not be able to win, but I am sure that we will win, and I am sure that the civilized countries should not get tired of helping us. We will not survive without help. We will not raise the white flag. The first days of the war showed that we’d rather die than become slaves of Putin. I have already asked my friends that if things get very difficult, my family will leave, and I will stay.
Do you know what my provision in the volunteer battalion is? 200 dollars, in peacetime I was making 900 -1000. I’m not sorry, I’m looking for a part-time job. It’s hard for everyone these days, not just for me. The children have something to eat, I cannot always pay for utilities, but we’ll get through this, the main thing is victory. We have cheaper utilities, cigarettes, and 1,000 is considered a normal wage. Utilities in winter costs 200 dollars, three-room apartment.
My friend, I do not feel sorry, but there are people who lose their homes and loved ones. When we win, everything will be fine again. One thing I worry about is the children, that they will be okay. But God sends me a lot of good friends, I always try to help everyone too. I’m sure it will all end well.
AUGUST 18, 2022
I understand that many are tired of the news about the war, but this is my life, my family, my father and mother. I can go abroad, my three minor children give me the right to do so. But I will not be able to do it when others are dying for freedom.
AUGUST 19, 2022
I am really burning out my friend. The emptiness in my soul is getting worse, my youngest daughter is ill, people I have seen quite recently are dying, war is the most selfish thing that man has invented. If everyone lived aware of how fragile life is, it seems to me there would be no such thing, and we would be creating instead of destroying.
Today 12 people died in my friend’s battalion, including my friend and a boy in his 20s, whom I talked to five days ago and who signed our flag.
War is thousands of grief-stricken families. I used to do NFT, honestly something in the middle burns out. It’s a void that can’t be filled. Sorry to share the bad news with you. But I’m telling it like it is. May God never let you know what war is like, what a grief-stricken mother who has a 20-year-old son and could still live. Or like my friend who died, he was 35 years old and had two minor children. Putin is a criminal and he must answer for everything.
[Putin] doesn’t understand that we won’t be afraid of him, we’ll just hate him even more, and we’ll have to answer for every death. It was reported to us that we would soon be sent to the front, and now they are preparing our documents and preparing us.
It seems to me that it will never be like before, we are losing the bright feeling in ourselves, filling it with anger. You know, I’m not afraid of death anymore, I’m afraid for my children to have a good life. And death is just the finish line of this crazy life.
AUGUST 24, 2022
Today, siren after siren. But while the air defense in our area are shot down.
AUGUST 28, 2022
Odessa and the port is ours.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2022
Tomorrow night we’re going to Pokrovsk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk region. And then in two days in the city of Nikolaev in the hospital, there again you need help. You know, I’ll be honest with you, some things in our country are sad. You see that the whole world helps us with money and weapons. But at the same time we collect money to bring food and medicines to the hospital. So the doctors can change the clothes of the wounded soldiers.
It makes me very angry that people give up the last thing they have, I can not find time for my child, I try to earn money, plus our training as a territorial defense and volunteer activity, from which I do not have a penny. And someone profits from the fact that there is a war.
As promised, I tell you everything as it is. On the one hand people from kindergarten sew underwear for the soldiers for free, we are collecting and looking for free, asking like beggars to help. We understand that winter is coming, and we need thermal underwear, warm clothes. And the officials are building houses and lining their pockets.
I am very morally tired, I understand that every trip to the frontline may be my last. We really give our all, collect the cars, buy ammunition, thermal imaging cameras. And at the same time I can’t even pay the utilities in full – it’s not funny, but it’s a fact. I very much hope that after our victory we will be able to defeat one more enemy in our country called corruption and theft.
Sorry, I just had a lot of emotions today, I have sent them here. Very much mentally tired from everything, tomorrow night a trip to the front.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2022
The day before yesterday we went to the Donetsk region, we were in Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, passed the guys all the necessary things, helmets, vests, active headphones, mufflers, blankets and food and uniforms.
Thank God during our trip to the front line, there were missile arrivals but far away from us, 2 to 3 kilometers away. It was very pleasant to see the joyful faces of our soldiers, their motivation and desire to win. I am proud of our soldiers, it was hard only to get home, a day and a half on the road, my eyes were falling asleep. We drove at night and sang 90s songs to stay awake.
Thank God everything went fine as always, but this is war and not always so good. We arrived at 5:30 a.m., and at 9:30 a.m there was the funeral of a Hero of Ukraine, who had two children and died defending his country.