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What I would do if it weren’t for the war

Alina Mykhailova, Army SOS
What I would do if it weren’t for the war
Article by: Serhiy Korovayny
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Thirteen volunteers helping the Ukrainian army were invited to participate in the photo project Real People – Vitaliy Deyneha, Come Back Alive!, Alina Mykhailova, Army SOS, Roman Sinitsin, National Rear Line, and many others. Each person was portrayed two ways – what they are at war and what they would be in peacetime.

The organizers also asked the volunteers what they had had to give up in order to do their patriotic duty, and what they would do “… if not for the war?”

The first exhibit was inaugurated on International Volunteer Day.

Kostyantyn Khodakovsky,National Army: “If not for the war, I’d like to become a football player.”
Kateryna Nikolayenko, Ukrainian Military Portal: “If not for the war, I’d move to Türkiye to study the archives about Ukraine.”
Bohdan Maslyak, Help the Front: “If not for the war, I’d search for funds to renovate a restaurant…. And I’d travel to all the corners of the world.”
Tetiana Bidnyak, Help-Army: “If not for the war, I’d start a company, hold a management position, prepare desserts for my big family, and grow table grapes.”
Ksenia Dron, Charity Auctions for ATO: “If not for the war, I’d sign up as a volunteer and work on social projects.” Ihor Fedirko, “If not for the war, I’d be involved in my own business company and take care of my family, and I’d finally finish my thesis.”
Vitaliy Deyneha,Come Back Alive: “If not for the war, I’d lease my apartment and travel around the world. Before the war, I wanted to enter the Kazakhstan, China and United Arab Emirates markets with several IT-security projects.”
Ihor Fedirko, “If not for the war, I’d be involved in my own business company and take care of my family, and I’d finally finish my thesis.”
Oksana Syvak, Initiative E+: “If not for the war, I wouldn’t miss a single family celebration or the premiere at my favourite theatre, and my family and friends would be able to reach me anytime.”
Alina Mykhailova, Army SOS: “If not for the war, I’d work with homeless animals, prepare to enroll in a Master’s program in Germany and work more on photographing landscapes.”
Davyd Arakhamiya, National Project: “If not for the war, I’d found the country’s largest project to help children develop their creative abilities.”
Oleksandr Yermoshyn, Wings of the Phoenix: “If not for the war, I’d be an ordinary man, raise my daughter and son, work hard and I wouldn’t be involved in all this crap, to be honest.”
Roman Oryschenko, Plast: “If not for the war, I’d write a book about our people and how they defended their religious views and beliefs when Ukraine was occupied by tsarist Russia in the nineteenth century.”
Roman Sinitsyn, National Rear Line: “If not for the war, I’d travel and maybe reach the 80 mark as I’ve already visited about 60 countries. I’d also launch some interesting business projects and wouldn’t have to learn how to shoot from an RPG-7 or an AGS.”

All photos courtesy of Serhiy Korovayny/Radio Liberty


Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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