Letter from Kyiv

Iryna Polstiankina of the Horowitz Competition writes from a city at war



Dear Friends,

Life in Kyiv, the city that is being attacked from land and air by the russian army is difficult and dangerous. My schedule depends on the air raid sirens and curfews. Russians especially like to attack at night or early morning, therefore, it is impossible to sleep at night. All of my colleagues follow the rule of "two walls" and try to sleep on the floor. We are constantly stressed and alert, which, in turn, has bad effects on our overall health. 
I am lucky that my apartment is on the first floor. Me and my husband spent only one night in the basement of a neighboring building. However, people whose apartments are on the top floors have to spend their time in the basements or subway stations. 
My neighborhood, (Babyi Yar), was hit by the russian rockets. Thankfully, my house is ok. Thanks to our Mayor, Klitschko, we have water, gas, and electricity. Grocery stores work special reduced hours. We have limited supply, but we have enough right now and we try to save our water and food. Some means of public transportation work, but in a very reduced capacity. 

destroyed building near Kyiv

after a rocket attack

barricades in downtown Kyiv

Our office is unable to work. All of the members of our office are alive and are in Ukraine, some left Kyiv, but most of us are here in Kyiv. We tried to cover our pianos in order to provide some sort of protection. From April 1st the Glier college started working online. I do not know how many of our students are in Kyiv. Based on the numbers, possibly more than 2,000 000 of residents of Kyiv have relocated to the Western Ukraine or to the Western Europe. 50% of Ukrainian children were evacuated abroad. We provide a flexible schedule to our students depending on their physical and technical capabilities. 
I ask for continued support of Ukraine in any way you can, including sanctions against musicians who quietly or not so quietly support Putin's genocide of Ukrainian people. Ukraine is fighting fearlessly against crimes of Russia and we need the support of the whole world. 
Thank you for your support. 
Thank you to all our friends, colleagues who write to me and help in supporting our Ukrainian musicians during these tragical times.. 
Yours Iryna.