Yevhen Polozhiy Book Presentation

Book presentation by Yevhen Polozhiy (Євген Положій) was held last Sunday, December 16, at the Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Washington DC. Thank you to everyone who came to the presentation! A special thank you to Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Washington DC and personally Frv Steliac for opening the doors for this book presentation event!

Yevhen Polozhiy is a well known Ukrainian journalist and a writer. In recent years, he authored several books about the war. Being a journalist, Yevhen met and interviewed witnesses of the Ilovaisk battle: Ukrainian soldiers, officers, and fighters of the volunteer battalions. Before the war, most of these people were civilians. They were not trained to fight in the battlefield. However, when the time came, they raised against the aggressor to defend their Fatherland. Yevhen had been overwhelmed by their stories and decided to write a book about the Ilovaisk kettle. This book is an honest and moving account about the tragic events of August 2014. Although the novels are written in the first person, as a humble narrative of participants of the events, the book as a whole became an ode to the heroism and humanity of these people.

The book is a collection of novels. One of the novels is based on the real story of a school teacher who had enlisted in the army as a war medic. His unit was ambushed by the enemy fire, he was wounded and spent 5 days alone in the forest, without food and water. He survived by eating ants. He also wrote a diary while lying there in the forest and this too helped him to survive. Here is the translation of the first lines of this novel:

“Here is how you do it: run your tongue across your skin from the tips of your fingers to as far as you can above your elbow, block the ants’ path with your hand and wait. If there is enough saliva and you are lucky with the commuting corridor, after an hour the ants will start crawling onto the saliva path, and then you can use your mouth to grab them from your wrist and eat them. And if you are really lucky, you may even trap the red ants: they have a sharper, more tartly taste, and after eating them, your thirst would go away for some time. And if you are not lucky or, say, you are out of saliva, then you will have to catch the ants on the ground with your fingers… not easy, as they are so quick, they know the locality so well, especially the black ones. But if it is already the third day that you lie in the forest with a severed foot and wounded arm, without water and food, losing your last strength, then you do not get to choose – red or black… The main thing, do not rush to swallow: you are not going to ease the hunger anyway, so it is better to create the illusion that you are having a good breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) and slowly, carefully grind them with your teeth.”