One year ago, the war began


It’s been a year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun.

A year ago, we were in Taipei, and T. was six months pregnant with N. It was our last visit to Taiwan before the birth, and we were busy balancing family responsibilities, pregnancy-related medical checks, and work.

I remember reading about the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and the feeling of dread as Putin officially recognised L/DNR. I remember the awkward conversations about this with Ukrainian colleagues. I remember we had a medical check scheduled on the morning of the 24th, and as we were running late for it, I didn’t have a chance to check the news. Later, sitting down in a coffeeshop to get some work done, I remember opening the Meduza website, and being greeted with the headline:


“War: Ukraine says rocket strikes have hit Kiev and Kharkiv”

I remember the feeling of stupor, of utter, bone chilling helplessness. I remember feeling that this was the end of whatever internal balance I had found between my Russian and Western identities: it felt like the part of me related to Russia had been submerged into a deep darkness, with no end in sight nor any path towards the light. I remember questioning whether I would want to pass Russian citizenship onto N.: why be a citizen of a country that acts in such a way?

I remember finding a tweet from Alex Khomenko, a Ukrainian engineer in Taiwan who went to protest in front of the Russian diplomatic mission on the day of the invasion, and every day since. I remember attending the protest with T. the next day and feeling the despair retreat slightly.

This year has seen countless horrors, and no doubt we will see more before the war is over.

Let’s remember.