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77 Days of February: Living and Dying in Ukraine, Told by the Nation’s Own Journalists
77 Days of February: Living and Dying in Ukraine, Told by the Nation’s Own Journalists
77 Days of February: Living and Dying in Ukraine, Told by the Nation’s Own Journalists
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77 Days of February: Living and Dying in Ukraine, Told by the Nation’s Own Journalists

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From a team of leading Ukrainian reporters, 77 Days of February is the bracingly powerful and intimate story of the early days of the Russian invasion of their thriving, independent nation. It brings to the world, in a way not seen before, the experiences of everyday Ukrainians whose lives have been forever torn apart by this brutal and illegal war, and celebrates their monumental strength and resilience.

The twenty-four stories here, along with an introduction by Serhiy Zhadan, the internationally revered writer, musician, and activist, share the harrowing struggles of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and reveal compassion, sacrifice, and heroism at every turn. Written in real time, these reports bring the first days of Ukraine invasion viscerally to life. There is the man in Bucha who lost his entire family to the shelling and now gives interviews to journalists next to the graves of his wife and children, so that the world might better understand Russia’s crimes against humanity. There is the woman in Kharkiv, raped for a week by a Russian soldier who then shoots her ailing mother dead in front of her. The police patrol that collects bodies, victims of Russian rage. The fourteen-year-old boy who is taken by Russian soldiers to Belarus—one of thousands of such cases—and the remarkable campaign to bring about his return. The workers at the zoo in occupied Demydiv, near Kyiv, who endure near-constant threats of execution so that Archie the rhino, Lekha the camel, and 300 other animals have at least some chance of survival. The young Kharkiv family, moving from subway to basement to survive the bombing, until they have no choice but to make a daring escape from the city. The old man in the war-torn city of Irpin, alone and unable to walk—and the de-mining trainer who fights for days to reach the town, find him, starved and naked but alive, and rescue him….

These and so many other accounts of relentless courage amidst unspeakable violence make 77 Days of February an invaluable work of urgent, lived, history. The stories take place in the first 76 days of the war, between February 23 and May 9—two symbolic dates in Russian military ideology. On February 23, Russia celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day; May 9 marks Victory Day over Nazi Germany. In contemporary Russia, under the influence of relentless propaganda, these dates are used to reinforce the Kremlin’s superiority toward its neighbors and the world, as well as its determination to restore the Russian empire through military force. For the title of this book, the journalists of Reporters decided to add one more day, as a reminder that the war did not end on May 9 and continues still.

To read 77 Days of February is to be plunged into the lives of astonishing people joined by a shared determination to cope, resist, and persevere. It is a fiercely inspired work of journalism that may change the way you view not only this terrible war but the world and the heroes who live among us.

LanguageEnglish
Release dateJul 11, 2023
ISBN9781094459370
77 Days of February: Living and Dying in Ukraine, Told by the Nation’s Own Journalists

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