Skip to content

“My city in the Ukraine is being bombed, but my mother in Russia does not believe me”

Oleksandra and her four rescue dogs have taken refuge in the bathroom of her apartment in Kharkiv since the bombardment began.

“When I heard the first explosions, I ran out of the house to look for my dogs. People panicked, abandoned their cars. She was very scared”, it says.

  • The huge oil reserve that the US keeps in caves for crises such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
  • The reasons why the Russian convoy has “little progress” on its way to Kiev
  • “Europe is financing Putin’s whims”

The 25-year-old has been speaking regularly with her mother, who lives in Moscow.

But in these conversations, and even after sending videos from her heavily bombed city, Oleksandra remains unconvinced by her mother about the danger you are in. “Kharkiv is being bombed, but my mother in Russia doesn’t believe me.” it says.

“I didn’t want to scare my parents, but I started telling them directly that civilians and children are dying,” he says.

“But even though they care about me, they still say that I probably it just happens by accident, that the Russian army would never attack civilians. That it is the Ukrainians who are killing their own people.”

It is common for Ukrainians to have family across the border with Russia. But for some, like Oleksandra, their Russian relatives have a different understanding of the conflict.

He believes it is due to the information they are told by the Russian media, which is strictly controlled.

Oleksandra says that her mother just repeat the narrative from what you hear on Russian state TV channels.

“I was really scared when my mother quoted Russian TV exactly. They are just being brainwashed. And people trust them,” says Oleksandra.

“My parents understand that there is a military action going on here. But they say, ‘The Russians came to free you. They won’t mess anything up, they won’t touch you. They’re only targeting military bases.'”

Another version

While we were interviewing Oleksandra, the shelling continued. The internet connection was weak so we had to exchange voice messages.

Oleksandra has felt that during the war, her dogs have been a source of support. (OLEKSANDRA)

“I have almost forgotten what is silence. They are bombing non-stop,” she said.

But on Russian state TV channels that same day, there was no mention of missiles hitting Kharkiv’s residential districts, civilian deaths or four people killed while queuing for water.

Russian media say that the threat to Ukrainian civilians does not come from the Russian armed forces, but from the Ukrainian nationalists that use civilians as human shields.

Russian state TV channels justify the war by blaming what they call Ukrainian aggression and continue to call it “a special liberation operation.”

Any Russian media that uses the words “war”, “invasion” or “attack” may be blocked by the country’s media regulator for spreading “deliberately false information about the actions of Russian military personnel” in Ukraine.

Some Russians have taken to the streets to protest against the war, but these demonstrations were not broadcast on the main state television channels.

“Saving Ukraine from the Nazis”

Mykhailo, who owns a restaurant in Kiev, had neither the time nor the inclination to watch coverage of the invasion on Russian television.

Mykhailo with his father before the war.  (MYKHAILO)

Mykhailo with his father before the war. (MYKHAILO)

When the bombing of the Ukrainian capital began, he and his wife focused on how to protect their six-year-old daughter and baby.

At night her children woke up to the sound of explosions and they would not stop crying. The family made the decision to move to the outskirts of Kiev and then flee abroad.

They traveled to Hungary, where Mykhailo left his wife and children and returned to western Ukraine. to aid in the war effort.

She was surprised that she had not heard from her father, who works at a monastery near Nizny Novgorod, Russia.

He called him and told him what was happening. His father replied that this was not true; what there was no war and that, in fact, the Russians were saving Ukraine from the Nazis.

Mykhailo said he felt he knew the power of Russian propaganda, but when he heard it from his father, he was devastated.

“My own father doesn’t believe me, knowing I’m here and seeing everything with my own eyes. And my mom, his ex-wife, is also going through this,” he says.

“He is hiding with my grandmother in the bathroom, because of the bombing.”

“Russia as the good”

The Russian media has been tightly controlled for many years and viewers are given an uncritical view of Russia and its actions around the world.

A damaged building in Jerkiv.  (REUTERS)

A damaged building in Jerkiv. (REUTERS)

“The state narrative only shows Russia as the good guy,” explains Dr Joanna Szostek, an expert on Russia and political communication at the University of Glasgow.

“Even the stories they tell about World War II, the Great Patriotic War, Russia he has never done anything really bad. And that’s why they won’t believe it now.”

Most Russians, he adds, do not seek other points of view.

The expert believes that the one-sided narrative that is highly critical of the West helps explain why Russians may hold such opposite views from their relatives living in neighboring countries.

“People who criticize Russia have long been portrayed as traitors or foreign agents; the critics are all foreign agents working for the West. So don’t even believe your own daughter.”

the moscow clock

Anastasiya’s parents live in a small town 20 km away from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, which is in rebel hands.

The village is still under the control of the Kiev authorities, but the Russian state television channels are always on in his house.

Anastasiya and her cat had to leave their house and go to a shelter.  (ANASTASIYA)

Anastasiya and her cat had to leave their house and go to a shelter. (ANASTASIYA)

They even have the clock set to Moscow time, a throwback to the Soviet past.

When Anastasiya woke up in Kiev to the sound of sirens on February 24, she knew how her parents would react.

“My mother was the first person I called when I jumped out of bed at 5 (in the morning), disoriented. She was surprised that I called her and it sounded very calm, almost casual,” he says.

  • Russia and Ukraine reach an agreement in principle to create humanitarian corridors and evacuate the civilian population

Anastasiya, a BBC Ukrainian Service correspondent who moved to Kiev 10 years ago, heard bomb blasts after waking up and was worried about the next coup.

‘I called my mum again. I told her I was scared. ‘Don’t worry,’ she said reassuringly.’They (Russia) will never bomb Kiev’“.

But they are already doing it, Anastasiya replied.

“I told him there were civilian casualties. ‘But that’s what we had when Ukraine attacked Donbas!’ he laughed. For a moment I couldn’t breathe. Hearing my mother say this so cruelly broke my heart.”

Anastasiya believes that the image the Russian media has created is that of the “glorified Russian army” ridding Ukraine of the Nazis.

For years he avoided political discussions with his parents, but this time he hung up on his mother.

We spoke to Anastasiya when she was traveling away from Kiev after four nights in a bomb shelter. Her mind was on an uncertain future.

“There are a lot of thoughts in my head right now. What will happen to all of us? Where is this going? Will I ever go back? Will I ever see my parents again? I still love them dearly, but something inside of me has broken and I don’t think it can ever be fixed.”


  • Ukraine compares bombing of Kiev to that of Nazi Germany in 1941
  • Ukraine reports the death of 2,800 Russian soldiers on the second day of the invasion
  • Why did Russia invade Ukraine and what are Putin’s arguments for war?
  • A shocking audio reveals how Russian soldiers threaten and then kill 13 Ukrainian soldiers on an island
  • These are the countries that support Russia and those that are with Ukraine
  • NATO activates its defense troops for the first time in history to deter Russia

Source: Elcomercio

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular