In 2014, Russia’s invasion of Crimea brought the word «occupation» into the context of Ukraine for the first time since World War II. This term gained momentum in February 2022, when the Russian occupants advanced further into Ukrainian territory and launched a full-scale invasion.
Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, Balakliia, Izium, Kupiansk, Kherson. These Ukrainian cities appeared in the headlines all over the world accompanied by the word «occupied», and only a few months passed when they were mentioned again, with the word «liberated» this time. Or as we call it, «de-occupied».
«Деокупація. Історії опору українців. 2022» is a reportage collection based on our expeditions to the de-occupied territories of Ukraine in April-November 2022. Each story begins with the direct speech of people we recorded and recounts the tragedy of occupation as well the brave resistance of Ukrainians. Among them are the Ukrainian military, police officers, volunteers, partisans, and just locals, who survived the occupation and are reviving their cities as we speak. The Ukrainians didn’t have an opportunity to fully reflect on occupation and de-occupation as we are still at the epicentre of these events. That’s why this book is a documentation of reality that has not yet become history.
The full-scale Russian war against Ukraine is not over yet. While this book is being published, part of Ukraine’s territory is still awaiting de-occupation. Ukraine needs the world’s support to liberate all its territories from the Russian occupants and prevent the tragedy of war from happening again.