The Yellow Kitchen and Other Stories Are Blowin’ in the Wind

Helio Borges
5 min readJan 18, 2023
Image: https://t.me/operativnoZSU

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

… And how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Bob Dylan. Blowin’ In The Wind.

The Yellow Kitchen and other stories

The scenes above are from the Ukrainian boxing coach Mykhailo Korenovsky´s home. He was proud of his home´s kitchen because his wife Olha and his two daughters had participated in its design.

It was the center of family celebrations, like his daughters´ 4th birthday. They probably celebrated Christmas with other family members in the same kitchen. It was always kept pristine and orderly.

The Saturday, Jan. 14, in the early afternoon, the family decided to go for a walk in the park nearby. His wife and the girls left first while he was finishing his lunch. It was the last time they saw him.

Olah and the girls, having left the building, were crossing the street to the park when 500 km away, the pilot of a TU 22M3 Russian long-range bomber flying over the sea of Azov released a KH 22 ‘carrier killer’ missile targeting exactly Mykhailo´s building.

The projectile took on a ballistic trajectory impossible to detect by the Ukrainian air defense systems. Seven minutes later, it hit the building, causing widespread mayhem among its occupants.

Link to the video
The Yellow Kitchen. Photo: Yan Dobronosov. Please notice the apples carefully ordained over the kitchen table.

We can feel and closely relate to such a human loss through stories because we are sentient beings. Mykhailo´s story affected me deeply; after reading the other stories, I decided to write this post so that others could feel what I had felt.

Think for a moment that every person in Ukraine has a ticket to a dystopian lottery, and the prize is a ballistic missile. At a given moment, a madman in uniform will point his finger down on a map signaling a mall, a school, a playground, or a cafe, to a pilot. This zombie will fly his plane, program the coordinates to the rocket, and releases the bomb, flying away on time for a date with his girlfriend or a drink with his pals. At that precise moment, 500 Km away, a young mom kisses his husband away and goes to the park to walk with her two kids when, out of the blue sky, Boom!

How do you feel?

So, please take a close look at every one of the stories below, and try to observe the situation from the victim’s perspective, without judgment, just trying to feel something, anything.

Link to the video

How do you feel now?

I kindly ask you to keep that feeling close to your heart today so that the wind won´t blow them because tomorrow, those stories will be yesterday´s news.

What would it take to stop that madness?

Sadly, unless stopped, Russia will continue doing to Ukraine what it has done to her since the invasion began on Feb 24, 2022, and what it did before in Syria and Chechnya — razing cities to the ground to win wars, disregarding the human cost it implies. The pictures below are only a token of Russia’s atrocities in those countries. It seems that Grozny and Aleppo are the Guernicas, and Ukraine the Czechoslovakia of the XXI Century.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified 7,031 civilian deaths during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as of January 15, 2023. Of them, 433 were children. Furthermore, 11,327 people were reported to have been injured. However, OHCHR specified that the real toll is much higher.

Consider that OHCHR has not verified the number of civilian victims in the territories that Russia has occupied since Feb. 2022. The mayor of Mariupol estimated the civilian death toll at more than 21,000 in Apr. 2022 in that city only. It is anybody´s guess the number of victims that fell under the Russian military´s indiscriminate fire in 25% of the country´s territory that the invaders captured at that moment in time.

To complicate matters further, according to the Brookings Institution, some 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees have registered for the EU’s temporary protection scheme or other national programs. Additionally, there are 6.9 million internally displaced people. In all, nearly one-third of Ukrainians have been displaced. Staggering as those figures are, it is impossible to grasp the amount of human suffering and the individual and collective trauma that those numbers suggest.

How can we make sense of such insanity perpetrated by a leader? By a country? Not one time, but again and again? This is not an act of war against a nation in particular. In that case, it would be over once accomplished the motive that originated the conflict. A clear pattern suggests that this is Russia´s way of being in the world, which is scary because those crimes have and will continue to be inflicted upon humanity; indeed, those are crimes against humanity.

I am neither a military man nor a politician. So, I don´t have a military or political solution to that. I am a pacifist; therefore, the best I can do is continue to raise awareness about it, hoping that the military or the politicians find some way to end this lunacy once and for all.

Or would that be too much to ask?

Please, Bob, don´t tell me that the answer is blowin´ in the wind.

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Helio Borges

Executive & Team Coach & Mentor. Cultural Transformation Change Agent & Consultant. Twitter: @hborgesg. Instagram: @heboga. FB: helio.borges.35. Uriji: @hborges