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Ukrainian Teens Are Posting Intimate, Heartbreaking TikToks About Life in a War Zone

Ukrainian teens are using TikTok to give the world a glimpse at their lives in a war zone. Some of the videos are light, some heartbreaking, but each offer a painfully honest look inside the horrific circumstances that the people of Ukraine are experiencing every day.

Matilda Boseley, a journalist for Guardian Australia, posted a series of videos that teens and young adults have shared from Ukraine. “Not to be soppy but it’s genuinely so emotional to watch young people in Ukraine still finding ways to be funny and silly as their city is destroyed by shelling,” she wrote. “My feed is filled with videos like these.”

There are TikToks like this one below, which offers a look inside bomb shelter life and some glimpses of a war-torn city.

Another TikTok shows a teen saying goodbye to her father, who is staying in the Ukraine while she crosses the border into Romania.

Ukrainian travel blogger Alina Volik shared a look inside her new day-to-day life, which includes carrying an emergency backpack, keeping all windows sealed, and falling asleep dressed in street clothes in case an alarm sounds in the middle of the night.

One young woman, under the username @Valerisssh, shared a tour of her bomb shelter. Another showed herself and some other girls crossing the border in the middle of the night.

The Toronto Star reached out to Valeria Shashenok (@Valerisssh) to learn more about recording her experiences during Putin’s invasion. “Near my house, buildings are all destroyed,” she explained in an interview. “One of the reasons I go outside (even if it’s unsafe) was because I wanted to show people from another country.”

She added: “Yesterday I went to the supermarket to find water, but I can’t find water…In the future I want to go away from my country to another country. I need money for the future to survive.”

Shashenok is encouraging people around the world to donate funds directly in support of the Ukrainian Army. “We are a very strong country,” she concluded. “We protect our country from one of the biggest countries in the world.”

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