The day the war broke out, I woke up at 6 am, reached for my mobile
and saw a text message from my best friend: “They are coming”…
On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine. Since then, the country’s inhabitants have been subjected to war crimes of a type and scale that Europe hoped belonged to the past: massacres of villagers, bombings of residential buildings, mass rapes, terrorist attacks on hospitals and public transport. Not even children and pregnant women have been spared from Russia’s geopolitical blood-thirst.
Ukraine was only expected to withstand a few days of a full-scale invasion. But the nation has surprised the world with its resistance and resilience. On the front lines, both literally and figuratively, stand the Ukrainian women.
They fight in one of Europe’s most gender-equal armies, lead protests in city after city, counter Russian cyber warfare and disinformation, lobby from key political positions and weave camouflage nets en masse.
The award-winning Swedish journalist and author Lisa Bjurwaldhas covered the invasion from the start, with a particular focus on women’s roles and issues such as trafficking of female refugees and wartime rape. In the reportage book Slava Ukraini! she paints a vivid portrait of the resistance of Ukrainian women during the brutal war that will mark Europe and the world for years to come.