«You saved my life and never made a mistake»: What do Ukrainians say to Belarusians?

Nasha Niva
10 mins

На русском языке: «Вы спасли мне жизнь и не ошиблись ни разу»: Что украинцы говорят беларусам?
На беларускай мове: «Вы выратавалі мне жыццё і не памыліліся ні разу»: Што ўкраінцы кажуць беларусам?

On February 20, 2022, at 14:06 (Kyiv time), the Telegram channel of the Belarusian Haiun project was created. 85 hours and 34 minutes later, at 3:40 on February 24, 2022, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine started.

40 minutes before the beginning of the war, the rumble of aircraft started at the airfield in Vialiki Bokau village (Mazyr district, Homel region). At least at 5:56, shots, explosions and the rumble of equipment could already be heard at the Kamaryn checkpoint on the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.

Today marks 369 days, during which Belarusians in different parts of the country, despite constantly increasing non-illusory risks, have been collecting, recording and sending information about the movements of the occupational troops to the Telegram channel of the Belarusian Hajun.

This information, data from Belarusians saves lives.

We have collected just a few of  thousands of messages from Ukrainians that we have received this year. We can only say one thing: millions of Ukrainians clearly understand and sincerely appreciate the help of Belarusians.

"My mom, who lives in Zhytomyr, followed your news about aircraft taking off and hid in the basement."

«Dear friends, it’s been a year since the war started in our Ukraine. I have been subscribed to your channel for a long time, but somehow I couldn’t find a moment to write to you…

Thank you! Ukrainians appreciate what you do for us! Back at the beginning of the war, my mom, who lives in Zhytomyr, followed your news about aircraft taking off and hid in the basement… It was both the illusion of safety and your clear position — you are our friends. I hug each of you, may God help you. Glory to Ukraine! Death to Lukashenka and Putler!»

"You are a strong nation, you are fighters. Long live Belarus"

«Hello, brothers Belarusians! I live in Kyiv region and know firsthand the «beauty» of the Russian world. A bloody war has been going on in our country for a year now, taking the lives of our children and parents. Our children know the rule of two walls, the exact location of bomb shelters, they install the «air alert» app on their phones instead of games and books, they have forgotten about simple childhood holidays and joys. I am grateful to your entire team and to those who resist, those who help with information.

I don’t know how I know your language, but I read your posts without any problems or difficulties. You have a wonderful language! Appreciate it, cherish it, spread it, popularize it, preserve your national identity. Teach your children to honor national traditions, remember folk songs, and develop culture. You are a strong nation, you are fighters. But you have been destroyed for a long time. We are at war, we have tears, we have deaths, we have grief. And this is the time for you to change your lives. It is time to build a country of dreams, a country of the future for your descendants. It’s time to go down in history!!!! Long live Belarus. Let a strong and unbreakable nation rise! Glory to Ukraine.»

"Thanks to your information, my fellow soldiers survived."

«For a long time I have been thinking and wanting to write a thank you letter, and the day has come. I should have written it the day before yesterday, but I will do it today.

First of all, I want to thank you all for your support of Ukraine, for your incredible contribution to the channel, for the informational help and data that you share with us daily, I thank absolutely every participant who contributes even a drop of information about the possible danger from Belarus.

You work just as well as our foreign intelligence service, and honestly, I trust you more than I trust them.

Thanks to your timely information, my fellow soldiers miraculously survived a missile strike from Ziabrauka, when a military unit in Kyiv region was struck. This proves once again that you play almost the main role in informing people.

I want to thank you again for your work and influence on the informational war. I wish your people to get rid of the rule of the moustached dictator as soon as possible, to establish friendly relations with everyone, to live in peace and harmony without any fears. The day will come, and we will surely help you in everything! Together we are the power! Together we will win! Long live Belarus! Glory to Ukraine!»

"We managed to get down to the shelter before the siren went off."

«I would like to personally thank you very much for what you are doing. My family lives in a border area, so the siren sometimes goes off later than you publish information in this channel, thanks to this before several bombings we managed to go down to the shelter before the siren went off and were not injured from the blast wave, thank you A LOT, you save our lives ❤️.»

"You save my life every night."

«I just must write to you. I’m from the Crimea, now I live in Kyiv. You haven’t made a mistake yet. Not once. You give me 15 minutes to put my cats in carriers and run with them to the shelter. You save my life every night. When the war is over, I hope you de-anonymize yourselves. I would love to shake everyone’s hand.»

"I serve in the Air Defense Forces, and it's much easier when I see your texts"

«Thank you guys and girls for supporting the military of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. I am glad that you are for us, and it has made my job much easier, I serve in the Air Defense Forces, and it is much easier when I see your texts to follow their movements in Ukraine.»

"Thanks to you, I have the opportunity to hide my children."

«I want to say thank you very much for supporting us. I’m from Kharkiv. When it first started, it was scary, but tolerable. We thought that we would not be bombed and people would not be killed. But, unfortunately, I was wrong. They started to bomb us. Grads and Uragans were just minor things. The worst thing is the bombing by aircraft. They leave craters that are twice as deep as I am.

Yesterday, when I was putting the kids to bed, I heard a terrible rumble, then three loud bangs that made the house shake. My eldest son was very frightened and asked what it was. I had to lie and tell him these were launches. Unfortunately, children know that launches are relatively safe, but bombing is not.

But at that moment the shells started exploding, and then I stopped breathing. Because it felt like it was coming straight into the house. I covered the kids with blankets and myself. When it was quiet, I began to breathe and thank God my children and I are alive. I just wanted to say a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for publishing what time planes take off. Thanks to you, I have the opportunity to hide my children. Though the cellar won’t save us from a direct hit, but it will protect us from shrapnel. And please forgive me for not believing that your information is a lifesaver. I was wrong… May you have peace, health and happiness. Thank you again, sorry for the long text…. Just thought I should say thank you.»

"Your messages saved my and my family's life."

«I am from Ukraine. And I thank you for your work! Your messages  saved my family and me in February and March!

I understand that lately the rusnya have been inciting hatred of Ukrainians towards you. This is the planned work of the Russian troops and their bots in the network and those informers who give you false data. But you should know. That your help is priceless!!

And one more thing. You should know that if we were in your place, with 50% of the population of brutal enforcers, with a dictator in power and Russian troops on the territory, we would be unlikely to go to the tanks with our bare hands, too. For someone else’s country. I’m sorry that Ukrainians have become sick with the illness of «being the fucking best.» Take care of yourselves, take care of your informants, they risk their lives and health.»

"The sons of your people are now standing to death for my Fatherland."

«Personally, I am very grateful to all the friends for sending information here at all hours of the day and night, many times this information has saved me with my little son.

I also do not understand the claims towards Belarusians, because I understand that everything is not so simple. As for politics, I can’t judge, but you know better, and I understand why this topic hurts you. I know a lot of people from Belarus, there are many who openly protest against Lukashenka and support Ukraine. There are those among them who told me that «…I don’t decide anything…»

But my personal opinion has not changed in any way for the people whose sons are now standing to death for my Fatherland. I am grateful to every Belarusian who provided information to you, and to your group in particular.

But please, I beg you, don’t believe that you are hated by Ukrainians judging by a few fools in the comments on Telegram and Facebook. Fortunately, there are only a few idiots. And these few, unfortunately, are the ones who write comments and can’t actually do anything in their country.

I’m sure there are such people among yours too… In general, Long live Belarus! Glory to Ukraine! Together and forever!»

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