Nataliya Gumenyuk: But the difference is, the difference is there. If you’ve seen the battle, you know it’s different. The risk to die is just so big. You just going into the guns, you know, like you just going to be shot or exploded. And in what’s happening now in Ukraine, the chances are just so high. So it’s really, it’s really like in the movies. Most of the people globally, haven’t seen, you know, they’ve seen wars in the news, but they haven’t seen the battles.
They’ve seen it like, you know, the destroyed houses, the refugees. If you’ve seen a bit of battle, you just really understand it’s like that. You are hit, you are a target. So I still think it’s, it’s quite a different level of risk to join civil defense, to be supportive, to, you know, remain in town and be helpful and be that one which is targeted. And especially if there is an attack, there are very little chances you survive.
Lulu Garcia-Navarro: You’ve mentioned that this is like a movie. And I’m just wondering if it was a movie, which one would you see it as?
Nataliya Gumenyuk: Would you laugh? It’s like “Star Wars” for me today. It’s just “Star Wars.”
Lulu Garcia-Navarro: I am going to laugh.
Nataliya Gumenyuk: I don’t know, I don’t know. In my mind, it’s like “Star Wars.” Like, you’re fighting the Empire, you know, outnumbered, but the Force was with us.
OK. I probably need to go again to my basement.
Lulu Garcia-Navarro: OK. I know. It’s OK. Is there a siren that’s just gone off?
Nataliya Gumenyuk: Yep, it is. It is.
Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Nataliya, may the Force be with you. Stay safe.
Nataliya Gumenyuk: Thank you.
Lulu Garcia-Navarro: The next day, Nataliya wrote us as a huge Russian convoy approached Kyiv. She said she was OK, but that people are rushing to try and send their children out of the city, while they still can. This is Lulu Garcia-Navarro from New York Times Opinion.
Times Opinion audio produced by Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Christina Djossa and Kaari Pitkin. Fact-checking by Kate Sinclair, Michelle Harris and Mary Marge Locker. Original music by Carole Sabouraud and mixing by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta, and editorial support by Kristina Samulewski. Our executive producer is Irene Noguchi. Special thanks to Derek Arthur, Stephanie Joyce, Kristin Lin, Patrick Healy, Vanessa Mobley and Yara Bayoumy.