Defender’s Diary. Oleksiy Hubsky kobzar and warrior

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Oleksiy Hubsky is a warrior and kobzar from Kharkiv who, from the first days of the full-scale invasion, has been defending his native Slobozhanshyna. Read about how our defenders are met with flowing tears in newly liberated territories in Oleksiy's diary.

On the third day of the operation, we were racing through the newly-liberated villages from Balakliya to Kupyansk, and people were waving to us...

In one of the villages, near a high school, a handful of students, boys and girls, poured onto the road... They were all dressed up in their finest, as if it was graduation day! They looked so fresh, beautiful and angelic... They laughed, shouted, waved, jumped... One of the taller boys waved two ribbons: blue and yellow! Because they didn't have a flag. These two ribbons seemed to flash like lightning through the dust-covered embrasure of the window, and they struck me right in the heart.

I have never seen our young women wearing such bright, snow-white smiles! Once again, I realized just how beautiful our people are!

I haven't felt such emotions since the start of the war...

At the beginning of the invasion, I resolved to be cold-blooded, hard-hearted and thick-skinned.

But my cup was overflowing; it was no longer able to contain all that it had accumulated. It started pouring out of me. I sat in the rear seat and tried to hold back my tears, but they drenched my ballistic glasses.

We were rushing – in a real hurry – so, we did not have time to stop and hug them, kiss them, and embrace them, these children, our Ukrainian land’s greatest charm. They are our future, and they are why we fight so fiercely.

We flew past them, and they remained frames from a short film about the sun that I was watching through the mud-splattered frame of the car window...

Married couple fighting for Ukraine

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