"Stories of the Strong": how the Vadym Stolar Foundation helps preserve and spread the truth about the war in Ukraine

"Stories of the Strong": how the Vadym Stolar Foundation helps preserve and spread the truth about the war in Ukraine

"Stories of the Strong": how the Vadym Stolar Foundation helps preserve and spread the truth about the war in Ukraine

The other day, a presentation of the book "Stories of the Strong" was held in Buchi, which was prepared and published with the funds and efforts of the Vadym Stolar Foundation. The publication consists of real stories of Ukrainians who survived the horrors of war - and continue to experience them every day. The main task of the book, which has already been translated into English and will be distributed in Ukraine and beyond, is to preserve and convey to the world community the truth about the brutal war waged by Russia in Ukraine, firsthand - as Ukrainians themselves see it.

The idea of such a publication was phased out gradually. Since the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion, the Foundation has been actively helping both defenders on the front and civilians who were in trouble because of the war. Volunteers not only financially support people, but also constantly communicate with them, learning about their own painful stories of life under occupation and near the front line, rescue from enemy shelling and torture, loss of loved ones and housing.

"The idea to collect such stories in one book came to us during active public activity, which was widely developed from the first days of the full-scale war. We understood that what is shared with us is important, and it should be captured. We processed a lot of stories, but 63 were included in the book, because they are the most painful, everyone abroad should read them and realize what is happening in Ukraine," said Foundation volunteer Nataliya Prykhodko during the presentation of the book.

In her turn, volunteer Valeriya Lebedeva added that the main goal of the publication is to show Ukraine in the war as it is seen by each of us.

"Such stories don't make it into textbooks, but everyone should hear them. That is why we started work on the creation of a book, which consists of stories of ordinary Ukrainians, strong people of an indomitable nation, which are truly shocking. And now we are proud to present the result of many months of work by the team of the Vadym Stolar Charitable Foundation - the book "Stories of the Strong", - emphasized Valeriya.

The Foundation explained that it was decided to present the book in Buch, because this city has become iconic not only for Ukraine, but also for the whole world - it was here that everyone finally understood what a terrible evil Ukrainians are fighting. And the stories presented in the publication, which were collected and organized over the course of two years, allow us to make sure of this with the examples of specific people and families.

The authors of the book were present at the presentation, who shared their stories and experiences, evoking deep emotions in the guests.

"Shock, stupor, animal fear. In the first days, we did not plan to evacuate, because we did not think that such a horror could happen in the 21st century. But when a bomb fell 60 meters from our house, we decided to leave. It was scary, because they were shooting cars at close range. We evacuated on the second attempt. I thought that this was the end, I was overcome by despair. But in reality, it was more terrible for people who could not escape from Irpen, Buchi, Gostomel. I thought that I would never return to Irpin. But we returned - to the fire. I still can't find the strength to read this book. However, I am sure that the whole world should see this, so that these events never happen again," said Yuliya Hrytsak, a resident of Irpen.

One of those whose story is told in the book was Olesya Chornobai, who was captured by the Russians in Mariupol.

"After a year and a half of captivity, I prepared myself for the fact that the children might not recognize me. I did not see them for a year and a half. But my husband prepared the children as if only a month had passed since the separation. Children ran and shouted: "Mom, mom." And the man in the hospital picked me up in his arms and hugged me tightly," said Olesya with tears in her eyes.

In the book, Lyudmila Melnyk shared the story of her brother, who went as a volunteer to "Azov" and died for Ukraine.

"My brother was a strong Ukrainian. A few days before the full-scale invasion, he informed me that there would be war. And he said that he would most likely not return home. At the end of March, he reported that he was alive, but they were being bombed continuously. He died in a few days... I am grateful to the Foundation for collecting such stories. We are a great nation, we have something to be proud of - history, culture. That is why the invaders want to take away our Ukraine, for the sake of our strength, not only for the sake of the land. Therefore, we must do everything to preserve our history for our descendants," Lyudmila stressed.

After the presentation in Bucha, the book "Stories of the Strong" goes out into the world, it will be presented in Ukraine and abroad. And the team of the Vadym Stolar Foundation continues to work every day, providing support to those who need it most, and helping our defenders with everything they need.

"I want to thank the volunteers of our Foundation, who have been helping people since the first days of the large-scale Russian invasion. Thanks to the team for the idea and painstaking preparation of this important publication. I thank the heroes of the book, its authors - for their trust, openness, sincerity and strength of spirit. I am sure that "Stories of the Strong" will attract attention and arouse interest both in Ukraine and abroad", states the founder of the Foundation, philanthropist Vadym Stolar.

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