Dictated in Szczecin, Poland by a child brought to safety by his hero Ukrainian dad, who sadly died in Ukraine to the Russian aggression while defending his homeland. All identifying information has been obscured for the protection of the child. The text was dictated in a combination of Ukrainian and Russian, after which it was translated into English. The original transcript will not be published due to the many identifiable information that was originally said.

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When I close my eyes, I see him so clearly. My daddy. He’s a great man, you know. Always smiling and being silly. He used to say, “smile and be kind and you’ll become a great man later as well”. I always have wished to be like him.

But in the last days I saw him, he told me to be brave and not be scared. We went to lands I never have gone before. And I remember my body hurting and being scared. I could see on my daddy’s face things were very different. He was so sad. I think now he might have known…

(There’s a few minutes break before next part due to the child starting to cry and needing to be comforted.)

I am still scared. What if I close my eyes and daddy is no longer there? What if I do bad to daddy? I never want to disappoint him! I miss him so very much. And I don’t understand. I don’t understand why they had to take him away from me. He was all I had. And he never did anything wrong!

I know the Moskals* did this to him. I heard it on TV in the past. And my daddy used to tell me about it. How the angry Russian people always fight. And how they want to destroy Ukraine. They are said to have no friends. It is sad. But I can understand when they take away people’s daddies. I would not want to be friends either. You cannot be friends with people who destroy.

[* Moskal is an offensive term used among especially Ukrainians to note Russians.]

(Child gets asked about what he thinks his future might bring.)

I want to be a teacher. I would teach people it is wrong to hurt and kill others. About how much it hurts. How the true heroes are those who defends their people. And how it is wrong to attack other countries.
And I hope I am also able to stay here (in Poland). I know my family here does not want me to see it but I have seen the images on TV. I know it is better for me to not go back to Ukraine. There is not much left. And I do not want to be there without my daddy by my side.

(Child gets asked if he wishes to say something to the Russian people if they would read this.)

I want them to know Ukrainians are not bad people. We have mommies and daddies we love. Don’t they as well? I wish they would stop the hurt and killing. All done is create hurt. They can never return my daddy that they took from me. But they can stop taking away more daddies. Everyone now sees Russians as bad people by what you do in our Ukraine. I hear people even say it on the streets here. Show you are good people like us, stop and live with us in peace. We don’t want the war you created.