Updates from Lviv, Ukraine

web Jackie Cat

Photo and words by Nykyta 

Nykyta's Ukranian kitty Jackie practices evacuation drills in Lviv. 


OVN's Ukrainian contact speaks from Lviv

Russian troops launched a wide-range attack from land, air and sea at three separate points including from Russia, Belarus and Crimea on Feb. 24 against Ukraine. 

A close contact from the Ojai Valley News, Nykyta, in western Ukraine shared updates with the OVN through a messaging app.  Nykyta’s observations and opinions are shared in journal form:

Feb. 25

“Hi guys, 

Russia’s army wasn’t prepared for the war and our furious responses. They have a lot of casualties. 

But we do as well, even civilian ones and even hospitals were attacked. 

It’s getting crazy..

You could share the info with friends and family via Facebook or whatever way. 

With this type of activity on the internet or in offline, the Politics would have to be addressed. 

Right now, there is very little help for other countries. 

And we are defending from this blitzkrieg. 

Protests would help push them to do something instead of useless sanctions that do little to nothing effect.

Here are some hashtags of the help we really need:

#BanRussiaFromSwift #CloseTheSky #SendNatoToUkraine

That would be a great help, and I will be in your debt.

Feb. 26

Hi - 

“There are not many military activities in Lviv and its regions today. There are lots of sirens.

"Ukrainians are pretty confident in their army, and will do all they can to defend their home. We are getting lots of videos of Russian soldiers who are surrendering or fleeing towards Russian territory. 

"The government officials were also asking for any help like making Molotov cocktails, drones, hackers' assistance,  and drivers for transporting snacks, food, military equipment and people.

"We are missing or have low numbers of some types of food like protein bars, some of the snacks (chocolate bars), cereals products like spaghetti, rice, buckwheat, but I dont think it's that critical. All other products are there. Also the Russian troops seem to have a lot of issues with getting fuel and food; maybe logistics are not working that properly.

"It's much worse in states where the actions are going.

"Lviv has also built block posts on the city's entrance. Schools, and any other similar buildings are being prepared or already settling refugees there.

"Locals try to help with all the necessities like medicines, food, other (power banks, tape, printers, laptops, etc) and clothes.

"They also collect the same with ammunition on top of that.

"We are also trying to do some help there with some warm clothes and useful utils.

"Even though there are queues to donate blood there is a lack of rare types of blood in all cities.

"Today we did a small trip over our neighborhood to look around for any possible marks, transmitters. The news is talking about how that help enemies rockets and tactic groups move, hit important buildings.

"Even though a lot of people are running towards borders, even more are willing to go to defend the country.

"Many volunteers are helping people from other regions as well as help the army.

"The worst part is casualties from civilians. People who accidentally were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Russians also shoot into hospitals and civil buildings as you have seen in the videos and pictures. 

"Even an ambulance was hit today a couple of hours ago.

"Ukraine will show Russians their place.

"It's really good we are getting help from other countries. And we really appreciate all the help they are doing."

Feb. 27

Belarus nation does want not get rid of Lukashenko but Russians helped to prevent it with armyIt is crazy that we have two dictators right near our borders

Protests are stopped at the very start in Russia, pretty hard and bloody, so it's hard to predict what that crazy man will do next.

I don't think Putin will surrender. It's not possible — he will probably try to go "all-in" as he has shown what a madman he is.

Putin still has Chernobyl under control, radars are showing some trainings

he will probably set some ultimatum or something based on his nuclear power.

The Russians have lost a lot of money, people and influence so he needs to use some last cards in his sleeve.

March 1, 2022

I have been working yesterday and tomorrow while reading the news from time to time. Sometimes hiding when the air alert was on.. ( I still can't get used to it )

No issues with Internet or Electricity. 

Crazy stuff going on in other cities.

We have been on offline training on giving pre-medical help today and because of work I couldn't do anything else much.

I have been talking with my Aunt who has some contacts/friends in Russia. They don't believe our news, and they are sure it's “West Propaganda” with actors and CGI.

I also had a talk with a friend who is in contact with a friend in Belarus sharing some local news. They don't want the war and they really hate Lukashenko and Putin but they can do nothing as a lot of them are afraid of the locally stationed army and the force that will be used against any meetings against the government.

He also thinks the Belarus army has zero to none experience and will just die here on our land, as they are mostly afraid of what's coming.

It's crazy how many countries, cities and people organized to help us and it's great! It's a big support without which we would have hard times.


March 3

Nothing much has changed honestly. I visited downtown yesterday for the first time since the war has started. A lot of armed groups ( in full equipment) patrolling the streets.

I'm not sure if it is the army or Territory Defense [Organized by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine].

You can still see people as the life still continues, the streets are busy but not as much as it used to of course.

There are a lot of people on Railway station trying to leave the country.

My sister and her friends set a watch duty for us.

Basically, there should be one person who doesn't sleep to make sure they hear the air alarm and then warns everyone else. We have set something similar with Telegram [Messaging app] groups if somebody has issues hearing it.

When we hear sirens, my girlfriend and I take the cat and go to the entrance door of the apartment as it's the safest place. We wait for notification that everything is alright via Official Telegram Group, or from a second air alert or somebody tells us about it in our group chats. Our backpacks are already there by the door with any additional clothes and a kennel for the cat just in case we need to run.


March 5:

It is pretty quiet lately

today there were no air alerts here in Lviv.

I know a lot of people are still trying to move abroad and the markets are having troubles filling the shelves so they just fill them with one item instead of couple as they used to.

My sister spent more then 12 hours with her grandma and her other sister trying to get abroad to Poland. They are now in hotel. It's kinda hard

Food shortages are not a disaster right now, there are a lot of things available.

As a plus we have a ton of goods from Poland from before.


March 6:


Im ok. My family as well.  Im trying to read less news as it hardly impacts my work and mental health. 

I can see the similar case for my friends as well.

I heard that people are still so eager to help that it creates issues with logistics.

I can also see that businesses are opening in the West of Ukraine. That's pretty good as you need to cover the needs of refugees as well as those people who spent most of their savings for the army.

There are still a lot of businesses closed, but resturants and cafes are opening which is good.

The confidence in the army is still strong over the Ukrainians but its still hard to read all the things in the news. 

I believe a lot of people were on adrenalin for the first days, which kept them energetic. We have tried to do too much at the same time, while also doing daily stuff, like going to the work, and you cant keep it up all the time of course

So now is the time about using wisely the resources -- keep working and doing volunteering.

March 11

Today is the second day in a row we spent two hours in a corridor waiting for the end of an air alarm. But it is nothing compared to other cities were people are sitting in metro stations, basements that are not prepared for long stays, or just siting in car parking lots.


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