Painting: A girl holding 2 doves up in a graveyard.

A letter to Ukrainian People via The BBC World Service.

In Zoe Cameron Blog by Zoe Cameron

Here is a moving letter to the Ukrainian people that I read today. It is from the Journalist Aida Crekez, who lived through the Bosnian war, I thought you might like to read it too.

“Dear friends,
Humanitarian organisations here in Sarajevo are collecting aid for you, and I am sitting in front of
the closet in my apartment trying to remember what you would be needing the most now.
It’s not my warm socks or my jacket or my warm boots that you most need now.
It’s my now 30-year-old T-shirt imprinted with a slogan that kept me up during the 1,425 days
that Bosnian Serbs fired at will and held my city under siege with no water, no food, no electricity,
no heating, and no communication with the outside world. I wore that shirt and read its message
as more than 2 million shells fell on our heads, and I dodged countless bullets but 11,000 of my
neighbours didn’t.
The T-shirt says: Sarajevo will be, everything else will pass.
Bad times are ahead of you, my friends. But weapons are being sent so you can defend yourself
and the values you stand for. We Bosnians fought back then for the same values, but the world
imposed an arms embargo on us. It did not understand what the fight was about in Sarajevo.
Thank God, it understands now in Kyiv.
You are going to be hungry, thirsty, cold and dirty. You will lose your homes, friends and family
members, but what will hurt the most will be the lies. Lies that you are somehow to blame for
what is happening to you. Lies that you are actually doing what is being done to you. Those lies
will poke countless holes into your hearts, but without stopping them from beating and without
freezing them.
I see they just destroyed your TV tower. Ha! They want to keep you in the dark just as they kept us
in the dark. They want to turn the lights off so we cannot see what they are doing to you.
Write down everything! Record it! One day it will define your history, explain what happened to
Ukrainians who are yet to be born, and most likely, end up being used as evidence and proof in a
court against those trying to kill you.
In the dark times that are ahead of you, you will lose faith sometimes and be overwhelmed by
exhaustion. But I’m writing to you from the future and I’m telling you: You will prevail just as we
did. I was supposed to be dead but I survived and I multiplied. I am going to take my
grandchildren for a walk tomorrow.
You will one day too because I can see in you the same resilience I saw here. I hear you singing
your anthem while pushing tanks away with your bare hands.
Over time you will sing, as we did, new songs about your courage during this plight. You will recite
poetry not yet written and you will come up with your own slogans that will keep you alive.
For now, I am sending you the most precious thing I have. It’s my slogan, a bit modified for you:
Ukraine will be, everything else will pass.
Slava Ukraini,

Two Doves.The place where my family are buried. Oil on board. 2013.