One of Many Stories of the Ukraine War

Nadin Brzezinski
2 min readJul 27, 2022

As we all watch the war, there are stories emerging of what this war is doing to people. While I tend to concentrate on the ten thousand-foot level, it’s important to remember this is affecting very real people.

This is an example of an 84-year-old woman. It matters that there are tens of thousands of people in her situation. There are a few things of note here that may need some explanation.

Eastern Europe still relies on a system of travel documents roughly resembling a passport. For example, they serve the same role as driver's licenses and state IDs in the United States. Try to open a bank account without these.

Russia adds a layer to this. Imagine needing your driver's license to establish residency or to be able to travel. Yes, we all need to show ID at the airport. This is due to 911. No checkpoints at the state border ask for your documents when driving. You have to do that in Russia.

This is why military members also carry their papers on top of a military ID.

Russians and I hate to think this, are not removing people for humanitarian reasons. I could see getting an 84-year-old away from a destroyed city because this is a vulnerable person. However, taking documents away is serious. It removes her ability to reconnect with family.

Think for a second what happens if you lose your wallet? In effect, this is the same. Her family should be able to get her, even if mediated by international agencies. Think of your mother in this situation.

It’s cruel and has no military role.

It’s meant to break the will of civilian populations.

Here is the full post. I think it’s important to remember that we deal with individual lives.

I was taken out of Mariupol. I don’t have documents. The Russians took them, I want to return to Ukraine. This is my homeland. I beg you, help”

Zhanna Milashchenko, 84, a resident of Mariupol, was at home on Metallurgov Street when she was taken away by the Russian military.

She claims that her documents were taken from her and sent to the Crimea. It happened back in March, all this time the relatives were looking for Zhanna Nikolaevna, but they managed to find her only after 4 months.

Now she is asking for help to return to Ukraine.

In the photo: Zhanna Nikolaevna during the war and before it (pictured with a cat).

Nadin Brzezinski

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game. You can find me at CounterSocial, Mastodon and rarely FB