Ukrainians like bees in a hive. No orders. No instructions. No hierarchy. To some it looks like chaos. To us, it’s just life

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No hierarchy

This is now a war of attrition. As sanctions gradually bite their economy, russian forces in Ukraine continue to bombard our cities from the air. Meanwhile, Ukrainians continue to resist on the ground. In this situation, neither side has the upper hand. Whoever lasts longer, wins, writes Mychailo Wynnyckyj, Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School.

The enemy aims to have us capitulate; to surrender. We aim to live. The most important thing we can do in these circumstances is to continue living. Each of us in his own place: ensuring that the institutions of society continue to function. Today the bank app on my phone notified me that I had received half my monthly salary from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Normally, that should have happened on the 15th of the month, so I was initially surprised (3 days early), but then it dawned on me: the fact that I received any funds today at all is unbelievable. To enable this transaction, a payroll accountant at the university had to physically calculate the amount I had earned, enter it into the system, then someone at the bank had to transfer the money electronically into my account. And the phone app had to work flawlessly…Meanwhile there’s a war on.

Yesterday we lost internet access. The line to the village we are in on the outskirts of Kyiv was either deliberately cut or damaged (I don’t know the details). A technician was dispatched to fix the line. Within 5 hours we were connected again. Simply doing their job. That is how Ukrainians are resisting. We are not a failed state. Yes, the russians have invaded our territory. Yes, our army is fighting back – valiantly. Yes, our minds are completely absorbed by the news, social networks, calls from friends and family… And yet, we work. Some of us actually have started to draw up plans for the future (more on that in a future post). This, despite the losses. Despite the tears. Despite the horror around us. We all do our part. Accountants, technicians, bankers, street cleaners, medics, civil servants, subway workers, journalists, drivers…

You are all heroes of Ukraine’s resistance! By simply ensuring the continued functioning of Ukraine – the state and country that our enemy would have the world believe to be corrupt, invented, failed – we prove that he is wrong. We are not feeble. We are effective. We live. We support those who fight in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in whatever way we can: money, food, equipment, a good word, a like in FB… And so, we will prevail!My social network feed is filled with discussions (arguments) between those civilians who fled the current fighting (to western Ukraine, to other countries) and those who have stayed. The former seek to justify their “guilt” with descriptions of the horrors they lived through. The latter feel compelled to demonstrate their bravery and bravado with relevant imagery. Both groups feel they have not yet done enough to support Ukraine’s defense.

I refuse to be dragged into these discussions. You have all contributed! You are all heroes!I also refuse to try to answer those in Ukraine’s vast diaspora who ask “how can we help?” To all who ask, I repeat: each of us has a job to do. russia is waging total war on Ukraine and Ukrainians. That war is global because we Ukrainians are a global nation. The war involves you directly because you are part of the “clan”, the “family”, the Nation. Ukraine’s current story is not just one of humanitarian tragedy. Ours is a valiant episode (one of many) in the epic tale of how our Nation contributed to the construction of each of the countries of today’s civilized world. putin seeks to destroy us. He says Ukrainians (not just here – throughout the world) have no right to exist. He is wrong. He is evil. His war must not only be stopped, his depraved vision must forever be destroyed! Each of us has a part to play in this victory: fighting, supporting, caring, fundraising, organizing, demonstrating, informing… No guilt. Each contributing in their own way. Like bees in a hive. No orders. No instructions. No hierarchy. To some it looks like chaos. To us, it’s just life. It’s just being Ukrainian.

Слава Україні!

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