(NewsNation) — As the war in Ukraine continues, Ukrainians are working to defend their country and trying to carve out some semblance of a normal life in the midst of conflict.
Mariia Shuvalova spoke to NewsNation about the ways Ukrainians have tried to continue living their lives in the midst of war.
“When everything is collapsing, all you have is a small things. And while you’re in a position, you cannot control your life, you still can control small things,” she said.
When the conflict first started, Shuvalova said the only thing she asked her parents to bring when they visited her in Kyiv was Scotch tape for her windows.
“Scotch tape supposed to protect us from surfaces of the glass that might be easily shattered by a blast,” she explained.
Ukrainians began building networks that were decentralized and flexible in a mass mobilization movement to supply fighters with equipment they needed.
“My brother voluntarily joined the army. And in the first day he had weapons but he didn’t have military boots, he was protecting me in sneakers,” she said.
For civilians, Shuvalova said life was challenging as they woke up not knowing if they would have basic services like electricity. Small actions from individuals, she said, have added up to keep the country going.
“When institutions might not work, people always work. People are controlling all this institutions that are, still today, all institutions in Ukraine (which) are functioning in a very democratic way,” Shuvalova said.