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Ukrainian Portraits

Ukrainian Portraits

Diaries from the Border

By Marina Sonkina

At the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, Canadian author Marina Sonkina flew to the Ukrainian-Polish border to volunteer in a refugee camp using her knowledge of Russian and some Ukrainian. The suffering on a massive scale was beyond what she could possibly expect. "Putin's destruction of Ukraine left me with dismay and utter helplessness. The world order as we knew it, after WWII, was unraveling in Europe in front of my eyes, and I could do nothing about it. Evil always shouts loud; goodness is quiet. But when I came as a volunteer to a transition refugees centre at the Polish-Ukrainian border, I saw an outpour of good will on an unprecedented scale. This book is a celebration of magnanimity that lives in the heart of each of us and comes forth when called upon. It is also a homage to the millions of destitute Ukrainian women, faced with the daunting task of rebuilding their lives and the lives of their children with patient courage, moral grace, and faith in the ultimate victory of goodness over evil."




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About the author

Marina Sonkina is a scholar, a former CBC producer, and the author of several collections of short stories, among them, Expulsion and Other Stories. Having come to Canada as a refugee with two young sons she did not hesitate to help Ukrainians fleeing the war. Her experience at the Ukrainian-Polish border is reflected in her latest collection, Ukrainian Portraits: Diaries from the Border.