From Ukraine’s leading writer-activist comes an intimate account of resistance and survival in the earliest months of the Russian-Ukrainian war
“A vivid, in-the-trenches report from a Ukrainian city and its ‘injured, yet unbreakable’ citizens.”—Kirkus Reviews
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Serhiy Zhadan took to social media to coordinate a network of resistance workers and send messages of courage to his fellow Ukrainians. What began as a local organizing effort exploded onto the international stage as readers around the globe looked to Zhadan as a key eyewitness documenting Russian atrocities.
In this powerful record of the war’s harrowing first four months, Zhadan works day and night in Kharkiv to evacuate children and the elderly from suburbs that have come under fire. He sends lists of life-saving medications to the West in the hopes of procuring them for civilians, coordinates food deliveries, collects money for military equipment, and organizes concerts. He shares photographs of the open sky—grateful for every pause in the shelling—and captures images of beloved institutions reduced to rubble. We’ll restore everything. We’ll rebuild everything, he writes.
As the days pass, the city empties. Friends are killed. And when images of the Bucha massacre are released, Zhadan’s own voice falters: I’m speechless. Hang in there, my friends. Tomorrow, we’ll wake up one day closer to our victory. An intimate work of witness literature, this book is at once the testimony of one man entering a new reality and the story of a society fighting for the right to exist.