Three young skateboarders from Ukraine
This time in one WAR DIARY I decided to collect together the thoughts of three young Ukrainian skateboarders from different regions of Ukraine: Ehor Tunik (Zaporizhzhya), Tymofiy Velychko (Kyiv) and Valentyn Khutniak (Odesa).
Where and how did the first day of the war befall you?

I have always dreamed of living in a big city, with a developed infrastructure and a cool atmosphere. That is why last year I moved to study in Kyiv. Here I saw many prospects in various fields, especially in terms of skateboarding. I studied in Kyiv for a year, and one day in February my mother invited me to come home to visit. I packed my bag and arrived in my native Zaporizhzhya on February 14. I had a great time with my family and friends, and a week later I was going to go back to Kyiv. I bought a ticket for February 24, packed my bag and was ready to go back. But on the night of February 23-24, my mother woke me up saying: "There is war in the country."

I am very worried about all those who are now at the epicenter of the war and every day I dream that it will all end soon.

Ehor Tunik
18 y.o. Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine
Two month of war has passed. How have your thoughts and mood changed during this period?

During these two months of war that we went through, I felt a lot of emotions, both negative and positive. Now, like every Ukrainian, I live thinking that all this will end soon and all my relatives and acquaintances will remain safe.

During the war, when I had a little more free time, I decided not to be idle. I began to practice myself, both physically and morally. I started reading books, learning English, and devoting more time to physical training.
Photo: Dmytro Verzilov
Describe your typical day during the war period.

My day starts with stretching muscles and exercising. Then, as I study at the university remotely, I sit down and immerse myself in all subjects.
Also, in this difficult time, I try to go out and spend time on my favorite thing - skateboarding.

I try very hard to support people during this difficult period. And if I have the opportunity to help, even banally at someone's request to go and buy some bread, I do it.

April 26 was one of the worst days of my life. I woke up at 6.50 in the morning because of the cries of my mother.
Artillery began to strike a kilometer away. The windows and walls of my apartment were shaking and the wooden doors of my room almost flew off their hinges. We went down to a safe place in our house and waited there. From the shock wave, which arose from the impact of shells on our city, windows of residential buildings smashed on one of the central streets of the city.

I am glad that our soldiers are defending Zaporizhzhya and we can continue to live in a more or less normal rhythm of life. I am very proud to have been born and live in this country. And I am very glad to see that our people, despite the very difficult situation, are becoming more united every day.
What will you do first after our victory?

First of all, after the war, I want to visit all my relatives and friends. Just to spend time with them, because that's what I'm really missing right now. I also want to return to the capital to achieve my goals. I really believe that all these terrible events will come to the end and each of us will live a happy life again!

Where and how did the first day of the war befall you?

The first day of the war caught me in Kyiv. Just on this day, February 24, I had a birthday. I did not go to bed and at 4 am I heard explosions. On March 1, Russia attacked the Kyiv TV tower, near which I live, with a missile. And when the next day the remnants of an enemy missile shot down by our air defense forces fell near the railway station, which is 100 meters from my house, I was definitely ready to leave Kyiv.

My parents also had an apartment in Irpin, where I spent a lot of time as a child. Unfortunately, it was bombed and that was very sad news for me.

Tymofiy Velychko
16 y.o. Kyiv, Ukraine
Two month of war have passed. How have your thoughts and mood changed during this period?

While I was in Kyiv, I was very afraid. I watched the news all the time and hoped that it was all a dream. After all these explosions nearby, I began to actively think about how to go from Kyiv to a safer place. In the beginning, my friend and I moved to Ivano-Frankivsk, where I felt a little better. And then I went to Germany.
My friend Artem and I lived in Frankivsk and kept in touch with Yura Korotun, who invited me to move to Germany. Artem is 20 years old, so we could not go together. I bought a ticket to Krakow (Poland), got on a bus, and left.

The road was difficult. We waited at the Ukrainian border for a long time, but everything went well and I was able to go. 
When I found myself in Poland, it was a little scary that I was all alone abroad at the age of 16, in a city that I don't know at all. I stayed in Krakow for one day and in the evening I bought a ticket to Berlin for midnight. I arrived in Berlin, got off at the train station, walked around the city for a few hours, and boarded the Berlin-Hanover train, where Yura had already met me at the train station. He gave me a skateboard and found a place where I would live.
Describe your typical day during the war period.

I start the day by spending a few hours doing some personal things. Then I can call Yura and go for a ride. I am also currently processing documents and I think I will soon be able to receive state aid. 
I plan to go to school here next week to be able to study, make acquaintances and learn the language, so as not to waste time while I'm here.

What will you do first after our victory?

I am very much looking forward to the victory. I will go back to Ukraine and celebrate this day with my family.

Where and how did the first day of the war befall you?

On the first day of the war, I was at home, sleeping. My sister woke me up and said that a war had begun, which I did not believe. The first week in Odesa was relatively quiet. Sometimes we hid in the bathroom or went to the underground parking lot.

Two month of war have passed. How have your thoughts and mood changed during this period?

I began to understand my grandmother, who said that bread should not be thrown away. Before, I never thought about how important bread and water are. I began to understand that everything you can do today should not be postponed until tomorrow, because you never know what awaits you.

Valentyn Khutniak
16 y.o. Odesa, Ukraine
Describe your typical day during the war period.

We woke up, had breakfast, and constantly watched the news. Several times I went to make defensive structures out of sandbags. When there was a siren, we went to the underground parking lot, sometimes spending the night there. After a while, my mother sent me to France, to Paris, so that I could have a good education and a future. 
. I’m in touch with my family every day: mother, sister, Volodya. I’m worried about them, but they say that Odesa is relatively calm. I really hope that all this will end soon. I would like to greet all those who remained in Ukraine. We will definitely win because there are no people stronger than Ukrainians.

I'm not alone in Paris. We are with Oleksii (Aloxzi) and George. Oleksii and I will go to school together, and the three of us will promote the Rappants brand in Europe.
What will you do first after our victory?

I will call my family and congratulate them. And then I will buy the flag of Ukraine, put it on my back, and with pride that I am Ukrainian, I will walk around Paris.