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Lviv Diary: Fragments Of The New Ordinary, Ukraine Swallowed By War

Ukranian literary translator Juri Durkot shares his notes about new everyday tasks as the country is at war.

Lviv Diary: Fragments Of The New Ordinary, Ukraine Swallowed By War

Ukrainian soldiers near the Lviv railway station

Juri Durkot

As the Russian attack continues throughout Ukraine, with Russian forces bombarding Kyiv and Kharkiv, hundreds of thousands of refugees are escaping the country, many converging in the western city of Lviv, which has so far been spared by bombardments.

This city is where literary translator Juri Durkot, who translates from Ukranian to German, is based. For Die Welt, he shared some quick impressions of a morning spent organizing a possible escape for himself and for friends, while coordinating donations for refugees and trying to get a grip of the fast-changing nature of everyday life during war.

LVIV — Early morning. Yes? Ok. I'm in contact with the driver. What time for the pick-up? Tonight? We might not make it by curfew. Is tomorrow better? That's fine. Great. Thank you, sir. Yeah, wire transfer. Do a test transfer, see if it works.

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No, you need a license to buy body armor, it won't happen. Through the government, yes. Sip of water. Yes, a bus. A German bus. It's going back to Germany.


When? In two hours. Seven seats available. Maybe someone will make it. I don't know. Nobody I know wants to go. No. I'll try.

Helmets for protection

Left sock. How can I send this? Right sock. Are the logistics still working? Get out of bed. Shirt, pants, sweater. Helmets? What kind of helmets? Hard hats, but not ballistic? Okay, no protection against bullets, but still protection. Yes, someone will arrange transportation.

They need it most at the moment.

Get coffee from the kitchen cupboard. Donations in kind? Yes, but not all random. Medication, sure. Send a list right away. Who stole the coffee from the cupboard again? Yes, Odessa and Kyiv. They need it most at the moment.

Good morning, how was the night in Kyiv? Explosions, but otherwise fine. Kharkiv? Missiles.

The Lviv train station is hosting thousands of refugees trying to flee Ukraine

Alejandro Martínez Vélez/Contacto/ZUMA

Don't make it too complicated

When? Next week. From where? Bulgaria. Or Romania. Let's see. It fits, we'll try it. Sip of coffee. Yes, there are tens of thousands here. Hot food? Yes, for 2,000 people. Address, I'll do it. Slice of bread. Sowwy. Sorry, I said sorry, my mouth was full.

I can not discuss the world order by text. It's not possible, even emotionally. I'll send you a number. Please don't make it too complicated. Always one destination. Dear Mr. K. Thank you very much for ... What should you write on the boxes? Just the first name? ... for your generous help.

What are you doing, it's another chat. So, now properly. It leaves at five, but no guarantee. No idea how long it will take to the border. Which border crossing? Not clear yet? Let me know later.

Coordinate. Organize. Chat. Email. Text. Phone. Browse. Comment. Discuss. Pick up. Send. Write. Argue. Comfort. Brush teeth.

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