When strangers come to your home to destroy, kill, steal, and rape, what is your first natural response?
Since February 24th we’ve been raising our voice on the streets and on our social media. We protested every day, all over the world, yelling until our voices would break. We reposted every piece of information, every crime that would expose Russia’s evilness to the world.
Some might say that we, Ukrainians, are lucky because the war is happening to us during the age of social media. I’ve heard some people wonder what would happen if we had Instagram and Twitter in 1940s. Would the world see the viciousness of Hitler and stop him before so many lives were lost?
We don’t have to be guessing here. Today’s world has its own new Hitler, with a following all over Russia. When we woke up to the photos of dead bodies laying on the streets of Bucha and Irpen; when we read the news about children and women being raped and murdered in their own homes; when the information about the mobile crematoriums in Mariupol surfaced... the Hitler of our time wasn't stopped.
A paradox has occurred. Instead of elevating Ukrainian voices, Instagram started blocking the accounts of activists, celebrities, reporters, and artists in Ukraine to protect the feelings of "offended" russians. Instead of stepping outside and protesting against the genocide of Ukrainian nation, russians started reporting our accounts from the comfort of their couches.
On the 21st of August, Ukrainian Cultural Center of New England gathered about a hundred of women who stood together in silence with one message - Don't Silence Ukraine. Our mouths were shut but our spirit was as loud as ever.
Content deemed as "sensitive" on Instagram is reality that Ukrainians are living through every day.
Social platforms must support the voices of those who are in need instead of silencing them to protect the feelings of the oppressor.
The world shouldn't fear calling the terrorist by it's name.