Ukrainian marathon of freedom: to civil activist and volunteers



This is a deeply personal message, but a message that is important for everyone. Including for our friends in Belorusia, Russia and Kazakhstan.

I dedicate this to my Ukrainian friends and compatriots.


We have just run a hundred meter race. We expected immediate results because we had witnessed miracles and because the window of opportunity was wide open. But the race turned out to be a 500 meter race. Many of us ran the 100 meters as if it were a 100 meter sprint. Not surprisingly, there were some who gave up after the sprint.


And then at the finish line we were told that the race was a marathon. Run just a bit more, there’s just 300 meters left, and you will have run an eighth of the race. What joy. That bit of news was what knocked us down.


Saying “I told you so” is counterproductive. Had the warnings been heeded none of us would have run the race. Or we might have run in the opposite direction.


We knew that it was only in fairy tales that good triumphs over evil in a single decisive battle, and ever after life is wonderful. That in real life things never work that way. That only “those who fight for life and liberty every single day deserve a life of liberty.” Every single day, Karl. “I wouldn’t call that a great feat, but it is somehow heroic,” said the burgomaster.


We knew we had to fight every single day. But we were so astounded with our Winter on Fire that we thought there must be exceptions. Because how can things remain the same after something like that?


And here we are at the sixth mile of the marathon with torn sneakers, panting like crazy.


What next?


Stopping is unthinkable: the ghosts of the dead are asking too many hard questions.


Some of us are tired of running.


Those of us with stamina risk running alone.


Not all metaphors are equally useful. But there are metaphors that fit.


Relay. We need to switch to relays. We must replace the tired and the disappointed, the fallen and the injured with new runners. To keep passing the baton. Otherwise we will run out of runners. Otherwise everything will have been in vain until a new marathon takes place, and marathons do not take place every year.


Just watch: after catching their breath the runners will return to join in the race.


Races are infectious.


EMPR, O. R. contributed to this publication


Original article in Russian is available on

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