What follows is an account by Nataliya Domnina, cast member of For the Boys who is an Ukrainian national.
She was interviewed on WRS by Mark Butcher which will be broadcast on 4th March at 9h15.
My name is Nataliya. I am Ukrainian and my home town is Kharkiv. Ten days ago few people outside of Ukraine would have known where Kharkiv is - and now millions around the world are aware of the atrocities that are taking place there - and in other cities of our beloved country. I came to Geneva in 2011 with my husband and we now have two beautiful children, but my heart will always be in Kharkiv where so many of my family and friends are still living.
On 24 February at 5am Kyiv time the lives and dreams of millions of Ukrainians were turned into a living nightmare. My dear peaceful country was woken up by the sound of artillery guns pounding, fighter planes screaming over the towns, missiles hitting buildings and very soon thereafter residential areas. Daily lives - in shelters or at the barricades have become accustomed to the frequent sound of the air raid sirens across the country from Ivano-Frankovsk in the West to Kharkiv and Sumi in the East. From Chernigiv and Kyiv in the North to Kherson and Mariupol in the South.
We are now into the eighth day of this brutal invasion. My heart shudders every time my phone rings and I get new information from my friends and family. I feel so helpless and worried for them. It's tearing us all apart - Ukrainians around the world to see burning cities, our schools, burned to the ground, kindergartens, hospitals including maternity hospitals and so many civilian districts - all reduced to piles of rubble. I know my European friends share our disbelief, pain and anger.
Thousands of innocent men, women and children have been brutally slaughtered. And for what? To liberate us as Putin would have you believe! What a le - and all those Russian officials, including Putin, who try to deceive their own people and the international community are no more than cowards and liars afraid to tell the truth. They are committing genocide. How can any man knowingly kill women and children as the Russian military are doing. Don't they have mothers, wives, girlfriends, children as well? Shame on them all.
Thousands of people have lost everything they have been working for their entire life. The fire doesn't stop day and night. So many cities and villages have been destroyed to the ground. This is a cruel, merciless, shameless crime against humanity that must be stopped now before it spreads to the rest of the world. Such aggression and violence will be neither forgotten nor forgiven.
Our men and women will continue to defend our land. Ukrainians such as myself will continue to support them in their fight. We will continue to help with humanitarian aid, food and clothes to reach Ukrainian cities. We continue to work with all our friends across Europe to greet Ukrainian refugees - almost exclusively women and young children, the old and frail - to give them protection and sanctuary until they can return to their homes. Instead of dividing a nation, Putin has reunited us into an enemy he will regret having underestimated.
We will not give up. Thank you for your support and for standing by us. Please ensure people know the truth - we must stop the lies from the mouths of the cowards and liars hiding in the Kremlin. Please share my story. Thank you.
Cast Member For the Boys
Geneva, 3rd March 2022