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“What is the price for freedom?”: Lviv Polytechnic National University students reflect on the price for freedom

Nowadays events are forcing us to rethink and reconsider long­known historical facts, which have been symbolic for us before. We used to honour and commemorate those who fought, we used study history, but we never truly understood the scope of the past events.

Of what enormous will­power, depth of patriotism and love must have been people who, as someone wrote in social networks about the Ukrainian Insurgent Army soldiers, knew exactly that “they will die, however did their job so quietly as if they were just mowing the loan at home”. Those young boys, who fought an uphill battle against the enemy, those doomed in military camps — they all kept fighting — not for their own sake, but for the sake of future. The desire for freedom, which for centuries has been tried to be destroyed, desolated and negated, arise with renewed vigour today in the hearts of a new generation.

Now we see ”Kruty” again, a bit further to the East, again boys and men stay shoulder to shoulder, knowing that no one except them will be able to defend the right to be free. Nowadays “Cyborgs” are going down the path of spiritual chivalry and self­sacrifice, that has been laid for them from generation to generation by Ukrainian soldiers — from Cossacks to daredevils from forest shelters to brave slaves of Soviet prisons.

Now this sacrifice is done every day by the new heroes of Ukraine, that are as much dignified as their predecessors. No one is able to love more than when giving his life for someone. Our mission today is to be able to gracefully accept this great sacrifice. Not to be afraid to light up with love in order not to get stuck in old habits and illuminate our lives with truths. We shall not be afraid to burn and we shall be thankful to those who burned away and are burning for us, those were the final words of 29­ years­ old priest during requiem for Heroes of Kruty at the Lviv cemetery.

Olena Tomchuk, a third­year student at the Institute of Computer Science and Information Technology:
"Freedom has never come easy."

There are such lyrics in Ukrainian anthem: “Soul and body we will lay down for our freedom”. Those words were literally proven by boys­students during the battle of Kruty, by our UPA soldiers, and now by our men in war in the Donbas. It is extremely hard period in our lives because the pick of the nation is being killed. For example, two of my former schoolmates died. All of them are heroes! Freedom has never come easy. Each generation of Ukrainian sees that from their own experience, and if you still want to name the price for it, so it is, unfortunately, death, and not a single one.

Christina Dubnytska, a graduate of the Institute of Architecture:
"You have to fight for independence"

I believe that the events between 1918 and the present can draw parallels. Young guys fought bravely to the last, fearlessly defended their homeland from enemies. The same is seen in the east. We are back in the days when you have to fight for your independence and protect your rights on own land.

Anastasia Yankiv, a third­year student of the Institute of Architecture:
"Once again our guys are looking into the eyes of death"

"Freedom ­ a luxury that not everyone will itself" ­as remarked Otto von Bismarck and Voltaire said that "freedom can lose only one who did not know how to defend it". It is now hard times for Ukraine, but this shows once more how strong is our nation! Remember boys from battle of Kruty, who went to death, so that we have to live in an independent state. Now history repeats itself: the enemies encroaching on our land, and our guys again look into the eyes of death.

Andriy Konyk, third­year
student of the Institute of Power Engineering and Control Systems:
"Freedom cannot be achieved without blood"

Freedom cannot be achieved without blood, and now we see to it. We gained independence 23 years ago, but only now we are fighting for it. I think, sooner or later it should have happened. I believe that all deeds, both 100 years ago and now are not vain, and we in turn must pay tribute to those who committed and continue to commit them.

Oleg Tabaka, student of Lviv State lyceum named after the Heroes of Kruty:
"Ready to give my life"

Krutyantsi ­the heroes who defended our country and our people. They did a courageous thing to do. They were very young boys. Today's youth again repeats the heroical deed of Krut Heroes: as it was a year ago and now the young guys come out to confront the enemy. The price of freedom is always very high. For me, the oath which I gave is a duty to my people, the state, and I am ready to give my life for it.