A bombed-out city in Ukraine
A bombed-out city in Ukraineצילום: Shutterstock

The people who are most affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are telling their stories by the thousands: Over 50,000 people have now committed their firsthand stories to the Museum of Civilian Voices.

The Museum of Civilian Voices was set up by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation in 2014, when the war began, to provide a platform for Ukrainians traumatized by the war to share their stories, as well as preserving these horrific stories as a salutary lesson for future generations. The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation also provides psychological support to help people cope with the stress and trauma of war.

Rinat Akhmetov said, "It is important we record all these stories so our memories remain forever, and so every human story from the Museum of Civilian Voices archive becomes a call to end this terrible war and prevent similar tragedies in the future. I’m pleased so many people feel able to share their terrible experiences and there is no doubt this will be an important of our re-building process, once we have pushed Russia out of Ukraine."

Anyone can share their story on video, audio or by writing it down, and it is simple to do so on the Museum of Civilian Voices' website.

"I cannot keep silent," says Tatyana from Bucha, one of those who submitted her story. "I want the world to know what happened. Maybe one day we will know who did it. And so there will be justice."

Tatyana’s mother was shot between the eyes by a Russian sniper in front her both her and her father.

Serhiy from Irpin learned about the death of his wife, nine-year-old daughter, and 18-year-old son from social networks. The photo of their dead bodies after a mortar attack was widely shared around the world.

Mykola, 33 years old from the Chernihiv region, survived a botched execution by Russian soldiers, climbed out of the grave, and walked 40 kilometers back home.

Rinat Akhmetov commented, "These stories do not make easy listening. But they emphasize the sheer horror, chaos and dehumanization of war. Once you’ve listened to just a few people talking about their experience, you’ll want to do everything you can to make this war end. All you have to do is imagine yourself in their position."