8-M | A police chief, a soldier and a volunteer: the war in Ukraine, seen by three women
MULTIMEDIA | One year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine
The war alters everything and puts on hold or rolls back rights that have taken a long time to consolidate. And women's rights are no exception. The Russian invasion of UkraineIt has caused a massive displacement of women to the countries of the European Union and Russia. They are 80% of all refugees and 70% of internally displaced persons, according to the UN. The alarms have also been turned on again about the trafficking in women and the drama of surrogate wombs, whose business has not even stopped due to the war and is maintained in cities like kyiv. But hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian women have been unable or unwilling to leave their country, and many of them have had to assume a greater domestic burden in the absence of men.
Ukraine The pre-war population (44 million inhabitants) had a long way to go in terms of gender equality. According to data from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), he was ranked 49th out of a gender inequality index made up of 162 countries in the world. Today, like almost all the numbers related to the war, the figures are difficult to verify. But still. the estimates and studies of various international humanitarian organizations give an idea of some of the sequels that the conflict is causing. leaving in women.
An example: according to Save The Children, the stress and hardships of the war have triggered the number of premature births in the country, a recurring phenomenon in other conflicts such as the Balkan wars of the 1990s. The other side of the coin is the brave (and often anonymous) journalists who denounce the endemic corruption in Ukraine despite threats, the displaced volunteers who continue to work in hot zones, the policewomen and those who have enlisted in the Ukrainian military forces. The latter, in particular, have increased with the war from 30,000 in 2021 to 41,000 — of which 5,000 are fighting on the front lines and adding another 19,000 civilians who are helping the Ukrainian Army — according to ;n the Kiev government.
EL PERIODIC has spoken with some of them to obtain their testimony:
Alena Strijak, police chief
< p>Alena Strijak, Kharkiv police chief.
Alena Strijak is 34 years old and the only female police chieffrom Ukraine. She says it proudly and speaks with emphasis. Ideas come out so fast that she sometimes doesn't even finish her sentences. Why? do it? War does not understand downtime, even more so if like Strijak one is in charge of the Kharkov police patrols., a body that in this region of eastern Ukraine has 1,500 agents, almost all of them men. “It is possible that this will change in the future, but it hasn't happened yet because in the first year of the war we have not opened calls to recruit new police officers,” this woman who entered the police hastened to clarify. She joined the force in 2015 as an inspector and quickly made a career out of it.
Strijak's day-to-day life has new challenges today. In her city, for example, drunk people have increased and a new reality is apartment robberies , which she links to the despair that the conflict provokes. She says that other phenomena also show that the war has entered a kind of loop. “People have gotten used to sirens and shelling. The good thing is that they contact us, before there wasn't as much communication as now,” she says.
Larissa, battalion chief sergeant
< p>Larissa, battalion chief sergeant in Ukraine.
In an anonymous boot campIn frigid eastern Ukraine, Larissa is hard to spot among a gang of men in military tactical uniforms moving in unison. They are soldiers who are being trained to improve their formation and Larissa is their instructor. She is a firearms expert and has just two weeks to teach them what she knows before they return to the battlefield.
like this finished his previous life: suddenly. Until a year ago, Larissa, who only gives her first name for security reasons, lived in another reality and had another job. She was, in fact, a manager at a factory in the area, a job she left afterward. when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the the full-scale invasion of the Ukraine. “It was unbelievable to assume that our neighboring country had decided to invade us,” she says.
Tatiana Zolotopup, volunteer
< p>Tatiana Zolotopup, volunteer, in Kamianka.
In the small town of Kamianka, retaken by Ukrainian forces at the end of last summer, Tatiana Zolotopup appears next to a van with a flat tire The mishap was discovered at the end of the distribution of food and medicine The inhabitants of the place, who have neither light nor electricity and are practically cut off from communication, since the telephones do not work. It is an isolated, hard place. Remains of destroyed buildings and painted with the letter Z of the Russian Army decorate a landscape in which desolation now reigns, since it is also full of clouds. It's practically uninhabited.
Zolotopup, a volunteer from Lugansk, arrived early and finished fast. She says she decided & oacute; Why do this because your region is ready? under occupation. “We are a hundred people who work mainly in the Limán area. It is difficult to get here because of the distance and the poor condition of the roads,” she says. “I am a volunteer because I understand how these people from the retaken villages feel, what they have experienced. My region has been occupied and I can no longer return,” she reflects.