“Now, with my mother and sister, we speak Ukrainian all the time. We had always spoken in Russian. It’s crazy as a feeling, it’s magnificent”


Posted yesterday at 7:00 p.m., updated yesterday at 7:00 p.m.

Aline Zalko for M Le magazine du Monde

Olga and Sasha are two Ukrainian sisters. The first is 34 years old and is a wine merchant in Paris, where she has lived for seven years. The second, 32 years old, lives in kyiv. at the beginning of
During the war, she moved in with her mother, her partner, Viktor, their dog, and their friend Y., in a building with underground parking. To the rhythm of sirens and explosions, everyone goes back and forth between the apartment and the basement. The two sisters agreed from the beginning of the conflict to keep their logbook for METER. In France, Olga is recovering from Covid-19 and returning to work. In kyiv, Sasha gets angry with her mother and separates from Viktor. She moves into her friend’s Y.’s residence, in a small apartment, alone with her dog.

Olga and Sasha’s diary, over the weeks.

On February 24, 2022, the lives of 34-year-old Olga and 32-year-old Sasha turned into war. The oldest experiences this tragedy from France, the youngest is stranded in kyiv, Ukraine, taking refuge in an underground car park. They agreed to tell about his daily life.

Tuesday, April 5

Olga: I have to go back to work tomorrow and I don’t feel up to anything. Too tired because of my Covid. I think about Boutcha a lot. I don’t want to imagine what is happening in Mariupol. I went shopping and walking.

Sasha : Boutcha, Irpin, Borodianka – the words hurt my whole body.

I no longer know how to count the days. Only tragedies, atrocities and missiles count. Thousands of identical photos of murdered people. It’s not about stress anymore, it’s like you’re going through a panic attack that lasts for weeks.

The Russians [Sasha a fait le choix de ne pas mettre de majuscule à russe et russie] moved away from kyiv [M respecte le choix orthographique d’Olga et de Sasha]. Let’s leave Y.’s apartment and go home. I’m happy to get my apartment back, but the idea of ​​living on the top floor of the building (we’re on 9) isn’t great in times of war. We also have no shelter there. Mom is going home too. We need to spend time apart. I hope you decide to go to France with Olga. I tried to force her, but she doesn’t want to go without me. However, she can neither protect me nor improve my situation here! I don’t want to leave Kyiv or leave Viktor, even if the relationship is difficult. People come back, there are traffic jams at the entrance to the city.

Wednesday April 6

Olga: I went to work. My mother has moved, she is no longer with my sister. They quarreled a bit. My mother is in my grandmother’s apartment. I am worried, because I have read many articles that say that you should not hide on the top floor or on the ground floor. My mother is on the ground floor and my sister will be on the top floor… But well, apparently the PPO, the air defense, is working very well.

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