Personal account from Alex from today…
“I got up today at 3.30 am from sirens and a distant explosion. The missile landed somewhere on the outskirts of the city. But since then I could not go to sleep.
I had a mission to evacuate a family with kids from Choroshiv (45 km North from Zhitomir.) In a previous life it took me only 45 minutes to get there, but I live in a different world now so I decided to leave home at 8 am and have 3 hours in advance. The family of three, mother and two daughters should have been waiting for me at the center of Choroshiv.
I only drove for 5 km and got into a traffic jam. After two hours in a line and with little success I called Adrey from Last Bell to tell that I have no idea when I can get there. In 20 minutes he called me back and told me that the family should stay where they are. To omit the jam I took the bypass road, which looks very different now too.
I found out that the missile landed in downtown Zhitomir and destroyed secondary school # 25. I was shocked. This is my neighborhood. This is where I was born, this is where I played with my friends when I was in my teens. At this school was my polling station. That is where I voted.
Picture made in 2020 elections.
When in three hours I went back to Zhitomir, I immediately drove to see with my own eyes what happened.
Today, March 4, 2022
From a distance I felt a very distinct smell. Despite that after Covid my sense of smell leaves much to be desired, I could smell destruction. It’s like when you burn concrete or cut the stone with a saw.
I came home in a bad mood. I did not accomplish my evacuation mission. My childhood neighborhood was into pieces. My dreams for peace are into pieces. I’m broke. I feel myself in a boat with the Apostles in the Sea of Galilee during the storm, our boat is shaky and waves are big. Jesus, my friend, I ask you to calm down this storm, to bring us peace. Let us be poor but just give us peace!
I usually invite all my friends to my house. I know that many of you were my guests. But for those who did not visit me I invite you now. Be my guest! I do not know what the night will bring and what the morning will be. I want to memorize the place which is dear to my heart.