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How Relevant employees’ lives have changed one month after Russia invaded Ukraine

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24 February 2022. A date remembered forever. A date that has changed lives forever. The date peace in Europe after WW2 was destroyed. It will be remembered as the unjust, unlawful invasion of Ukraine and an attack on democracy, an attack on the whole world. This was the day the world saw the true face of Vladimir Putin. 

For Ukrainians, this isn’t just a date, but the start of a nightmare. The day which turned their worlds upside down.

Much has happened in the last month. Constant highs and lows swinging from one side to the other, hour by hour. When I speak with my Ukrainian friends and colleagues, it’s apparent that the mood is something of a pendulum. Many of them believe in a near victory, pumped with the Ukrainian army’s latest victories, and then one hour later doubting an end in sight. 

It is true. Is there an end in sight?

We like to think so. After one month we have seen just how incredible Ukrainians are. The whole world is in shock and filled with pride and support for Ukrainians and their love for the land, people, and freedom. I have seen it, whilst staying in the UK, London, I am shocked with how many houses, pubs and companies are flying the Ukrainian flag high. 

Living in Ukraine for the last few years I have seen these people and how they don’t even bat an eyelid in the face of a challenge. Everything and I mean everything, they take within their stride. It often reminds me of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ war slogan used in the UK during WW2.

Russia was warned Ukraine will fight until the last drop of blood, even if it went down to the last man standing. Ukraine wouldn’t and won’t give up. A huge miscalculation from the Russian intelligence services. 

And so, 28 days later, 672 hours later, and Ukraine still stands. 

I caught up with a few of my colleagues at Relevant Software, many of whom are still living in one of the safest places in Ukraine, Lviv, to see how life has changed for them one month on…

How has life changed for you since the start of the war?

Head of Marketing, Danylo Fedirko:

The first 5 days were really rough. I didn’t know what to do with my team, we had to regroup and rebuild our whole marketing plan – this, for me, was the scary part. 

But, thanks to my team, we got down to business pretty much straight away and created a new action plan. 

As for my personal life, of course, there is less fun and social life is something of the past, for now at least, but as for work, we were already working remotely anyway, so it didn’t really have an impact.

Recruiter, Anna Furaieva:

My daily life has hardly changed. I work full time, do sports, and study. So far the war has affected my personal life as I haven’t got my husband around me like usual. He serves in the military so he is out there protecting us all. I have everything I need to live a comfortable life and so apart from my husband being away, it doesn’t feel different.

Frontend Developer, Vitalii Sokolov:

You, no doubt, have heard of Kharkiv on the news as it is one of the main cities in Ukraine which has been repeatedly and indiscriminately attacked. This is my city and I am here to stay.

My everyday life has become very very tense. Instead of scrolling through social media and playing on my phone, my reality has changed into scrolling through siren alarms and watching out for anything that could harm me and my family. We try to eat when there is no siren, so then we can at least have some kind of normality in peace. I have become quite accustomed to this new way of living, not that I want to get used to it, of course. But it’s what we have to do to survive. I am trying to trick my brain, to focus as much as possible on normal, pre-invasion life activities, such as work tasks. This actually gives me that well-needed break from reality. Obviously, I cannot switch it off like a light switch but it is required in order to give your brain a temporary reset and some time to relax.

iOS Developer, Tech Lead, Oleksii Romanko:

It’s definitely changed my life – mentally it’s tough to accept the invasion and think clearly. But I try to keep my usual pace of life – work effectively, spend some time on hobbies. It helps to focus on daily goals related to the job, to make a daily routine and of course – support our army and volunteers.

Business Development Manager, Kate Loginova:

I still feel like a stranger, I have no intention of adjusting and adapting to these conditions. Because I’m 100% coming home – I do believe it will happen soon. This situation I am currently in, living in Moldova is forced. It is something I have to do in order to survive and keep my job.

What support has been given to you by Relevant?

Recruiter, Anna Furaieva:

I have been supported by management all the way through the war –  we have such a tight connection with the team so we are able to work without interruptions.

Frontend Developer, Vitalii Sokolov:

Relevant has been great from the beginning and offered to relocate me to western Ukraine but I rejected the offer because I feel I should stay in my hometown. After all, it is my home, why should I leave? Relevant continues to support me sending me medical and other supplies when necessary.

Business Analyst, Vadim Struk: 

Living in Lviv, I haven’t needed any support from Relevant as I am safe here, but I am really proud of our country and more so of Relevant which has provided help to all our employees located all over Ukraine. It has been really inspiring to see and I am extremely proud to be a part of the Relevant team.

iOS Developer, Tech Lead, Oleksii Romanko:

As a Tech Lead, I am tasked with making sure my project and team are rock solid. We continue to work and deliver the result. Our company shares any and all resources at our disposal to resolve any problems. It’s really important for me to feel this support. 

Have you engaged in volunteering?

Recruiter, Anna Furaieva:

Weekends are a time for a lot of us to volunteer, helping in any way we can, for example, I spent last weekend weaving nets for our military.

Business Analyst, Vadim Struk: 

For the first few weeks, I got into a few initiatives related to the information war against Russian propaganda. Also, with my colleague, we created a website outlining the importance of closing the sky above Ukraine.

Head of Marketing, Danylo Fedirko: 

During the first week, I allocated a few hours per day to volunteer. I’ve hosted 6 refugees in my apartment, whilst also sending humanitarian aid. Apart from our volunteering duties, work continues as normal and my team is more motivated than ever.

Android Developer, Andrew Kravets:

I give a significant percentage of my remuneration to our army and continue to work, to buy Ukrainian products, which in turn supports the economy. I brought to the volunteer center some goods, clothes, etc a few times but it turns out that so many people are already donating things, and for now, they said it is better to contribute with money.

Business Development Manager, Kate Loginova:

We’re in touch with our team every day. The whole team is working hard to keep the business going, stronger than ever, and to keep our jobs.

What are you most looking forward to after the war?

Head of Marketing, Danylo Fedirko:

I am looking forward to being able to have a decent night sleep – without being woken up by sirens or bombs, walking outside with my son and being able to travel around the city without worrying about our lives.

Frontend Developer, Vitalii Sokolov:

I am looking forward to quiet sleeping in my own bed, safe walking outside with my son, safe moving across the city.

Business Analyst, Vadim Struk: 

I am looking forward to seeing my country stronger than ever, richer, and if such is possible, more beautiful. We have suffered a lot, many of our cities are totally destroyed. But at the same time, we are united like never before and we have a huge amount of support from countries all over the world. For this reason, I am convinced we can rebuild our country at one of the fastest rates ever seen.

The future of Ukraine?

Recruiter, Anna Furaieva:

I think Ukraine has forced the world to rethink our lives, and what is most important to you. We are an incredibly strong nation – we knew this before the war, now the world knows. I believe that in the near future we will live in peace. Then, we can start focusing again on developing our economy to levels it has never reached, rebuild all the infrastructure to live even better than before!

Android Developer, Andrew Kravets:

There are two options depending on the outcome of the current war:

Most likely we will be able to develop more rapidly and will be better than before the war. The enemy will be significantly destroyed. Or, there will be temporary peace and it will make many think about relocating to the west.

Head of Marketing, Danylo Fedirko: 

Ukraine will become the top destination for tourists, tech businesses, and real estate investments. This war will lead us to become one of the leading countries in the world, like Germany or France. It is obvious. You can see the interest in Ukraine and its people all across the world. People are already supporting us and will continue to support us more so after the war.

iOS Developer, Tech Lead, Oleksii Romanko:

I believe that this is a moment of strength and unity for all Ukrainians. We expect victory!

Business Development Manager, Kate Loginova:

We will win and reach a new level of development for our country. We will rebuild and recover everything. The economy will rise, we will receive huge investments. Most importantly, this misfortune has already united us into one strong, free nation. The strongest in the world!

Tags: remote teams
Written by
Podcast Host at Relevant Software
I am tasked with engaging with tech experts from all across the globe. I aim to provide an open, comfortable and informative space for our guests to open up and share their trials and tribulations of creating their product. We at Relevant provide our audience with the knowledge they need to better develop their product.

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