Around 5 o’clock in the morning of 24 February 2022. A phone call: “Dmytro, wake up! It’s a war!”
A war? What war? Explosions were heard outside…
I am originally from Kyiv. It is my eighth year in the coffee industry. I own a small coffee shop IKava with my wife. I have two sons.
We decided not to flee but hold together since the very first day; all the more so because our ageing parents live in the next building.
The coffee shop stayed open during the most active hostilities. We actually turned into a meet-up centre for local residents, as almost nothing was open in the neighbourhood. People came by, drank aromatic coffee, and had a talk. We for our part tried to support everyone with jokes and kind words. In addition to that, I bought milk, bread, and water and distributed it to the pensioners in need. That is how we carried on.
There have been two heavy explosions nearby thus far. One of them occurred in 400 meters, destroying a building’s utility storey and an apartment on the 16th floor. A woman died. It is so scary. Repeated air raid alarms, barrages on the city outskirts, and continuous psychological and mental tension in expectation of another incoming round… Everyone who came by was full of this tension. We had to ease the tension somehow. Therefore, we carried on working in the coffee shop. We even lived here during the first nine days. We felt better after Russians were pushed back from Kyiv region, but having an understanding that another missile can fly in anytime keeps us in tension.
We continue working; we pay taxes, even though the Government allowed the possibility not to do so. We understand, however, how important it is to pay taxes in such a difficult time. We want to earn a sum that would be enough to pay full taxes till the end of the year, as soon as possible.