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A Ukrainian professor lectures from trenches

Illustration: #AlonaShostko


On February 24, 2022, Fedir Sandor, a professor at Uzhhorod National University, gave three lectures, after which he went to the military commissariat. The professor didn’t have any combat experience, like most of his comrades in the 101st Zakarpattia Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces. However, after training in military affairs, they were sent to the front line in the east of Ukraine in April.

At night, Fedir is on duty, and in the morning, he sits in the dugout and turns on video communication with his students. He gives six lectures a week on tourism, with the constant sound of artillery in the background. In such conditions, students are ashamed to miss lectures or prepare poorly for exams because they see how responsible the professor is towards learning. "When the shelling is strong, Fedir Fedorovych apologizes and disconnects, but after a few minutes, a lecture continues," says a student of Uzhhorod National University.

The professor is sure that the shelling of nuclear power plants, churches, theaters and museums by the Russian army is a direct consequence of their education. And in no way he does he want to allow a similar situation in Ukraine. After all, when a nation is capable of genocide of a neighboring people, it becomes a sentence for its education, science and culture. For Fedir, the war became, in particular, a war for educated people, a struggle between two worlds: democratic and savage.

At the same time, the professor himself must constantly learn because being at the forefront requires new knowledge. For example, how to dig trenches or live according to army regulations.


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