February invasion of bigger and more powerfully equipped The Russian army accelerated changes already under way in Ukrainian military in eight-year battle against Russian separatist proxies.
February 24 everyone changed”, – said Mrs. Chernoguz. who fought at 27 for decade for democratic Ukraine with European outlook.
Before becoming a warrior, she was an activist. In 2013, when the Euromaidan protests broke out, she was literature student in capital Kyiv, who joined a revolution aimed at overthrowing pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
BUT struggle for in future of Ukraine was under way, with Kremlin supporting pro-Russian forces inside the country who against greater integration with West. Young activists like Mrs. Chernoguz took up the promotion of Ukrainian language like a cornerstone of a national an identity free from the influence of Moscow.
“I was one of these Ukrainians who long before 2014, it was understood that Russia attack us one day,” she said, describing the growth up in Ukrainian-speaking family and reading works of Ukrainian dissidents who were killed during the Great Terror of 1930s.
Dismayed by the loss of the orb of zone of influence and buffer zone, Russia soon annexed Crimea and started supporting the separatists in Donbass region. In April 2014, when Ukrainians began to form volunteer self-defense units to protect against armed separatists, Ms Chernoguz wanted to join but instead became mother.
“I gave birth to her on on the same day that the war officially started,” she said, explaining how raising her daughter initially prevented her from accepting more active role in war.
“I knew that our country and people were suffocated for century in The Russian Empire and the Soviet Union,” she said. “I felt like I should participate in this is fight for the survival of my nation is the same way my people did century back.”