As Russia continues its offensive in Ukraine, thousands of people try to flee the besieged country every day. The milestone of 2 million Ukrainian and Ukrainian refugees has just been passed, the UN warned. But if some manage to cross the border into neighboring countries, others stay in Ukraine and hide in air raid shelters. This is the case of Valeria Shashenok, a 20-year-old aspiring photographer. Locked up in her family, the young woman decided to share her daily life on TikTok, where her videos get millions of views.
The war in Ukraine is covered not only by journalists, but also by those who witness it in the foreground. Valeria Shashenok is 20 years old and since the invasion of her country by Russia, her daily life has completely changed. The young Ukrainian exchanged her parental home for an air-raid shelter, where she sought shelter with her two parents and her dog. She decided to share a glimpse of her new life in the northern Ukraine city of Chernihiv on TikTok with the rest of the world.
On her @valerisssh account, where she is followed by more than 392,000 people, Valeria reveals the harsh reality of a conflict she never thought she would experience. Destroyed buildings, empty supermarket shelves, an abandoned city… Day in day out, the aspiring photographer films the consequences of war, not without a touch of black humour. Below his video of the “Typical Day in a Bomb Shelter,” which has been viewed more than 24 million times, reads: “I’m living my best life, thank you Russia! ††
In Chernihiv, Valeria and the other people who stayed there are allowed to leave their homes between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. The young woman shares her excursions to capture the metamorphosis of her childhood city, but also to try to make her change her mind. “I try to occupy myself so that I don’t think about this war all the time because it destroys me inside. (…) I hear about this war all the time and it is a shock to my 20 year old brain“, the young Ukrainian confides to Raw†
Watch (a video from Brut):
In addition to the many reports on the subject, Valeria Shashenok’s videos show another reality of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, closer to those who are suffering its consequences.†