What Happened in Mariupol When Russia Invaded? Here's one Ukrainian woman's gripping account.

Escape from Mariupol: A Survivor's True Story tells the tale of Adoriana Marik, a Ukrainian refugee who escaped war-torn Mariupol after spending five weeks underground during the worst bombing and fighting. At the end of the book, Adoriana writes:  The story of my escape from Mariupol and my life as a refugee is a mere grain of sand on a beach containing millions of grains: each one tells the story of an individual Ukrainian's suffering since the first shells dropped over Mariupol on February 24, 2022.  In this three-part series, I will tell you about the plight of another Ukrainian refugee from Mariupol.  Diana in Mariupol Her name is Diana, and her story is very similar to that of Adoriana's, reminding all of us that the tragedies and human suffering in Mariupol at the start of Russia's invasion are not fictitious, as some Russian bots would have you think. According to Ukrainian officials, at least 23,000 civilians were killed in Mariupol in the early months of Russ

Lost in Translation: The Challenge of Sharing a Ukrainian/Russian Story in English

Adoriana in the bomb shelter (identity blurred)  In the Introduction of Escape from Mariupol: A Survivor's True Story, I briefly discuss how the book was written. I mention that my Ukrainian co-author, Adoriana Marik, emailed me letters written in Russian (the second language of many Ukrainians) which I translated into English and crafted into a narrative. The totality of those letters, along with the research that I added regarding recent Ukrainian history and Russia's current war, comprise the body of the book. In theory, it sounds like a straightforward process. But theory is just that- theory. Reality is something altogether different.   The emails that Adoriana initially sent me from a refugee hostel in the Czech Republic last spring resembled a stream-of-consciousness train wreck. Having lived underground for five weeks during nonstop aerial shelling and gun fighting in the streets of Mariupol, Adoriana's untamed recollection of events reflected the chaos of her trau

The Harrowing Tale of a Ukrainian Dog

Move over Benji. Step aside, Lassie. There's a new celebrity dog in town. Her name is Yola. She is a Siberian Husky who lived in the once-beautiful port city of Mariupol, Ukraine. Yola is one of the main characters in "Escape from Mariupol: A Survivor's True Story," a nonfiction that I recently co-authored with Yola's owner, Adoriana Marik.   When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Yola sheltered with Adoriana in a dark and freezing cold basement beneath a high-rise building in downtown Mariupol. Yola huddled beside Adoriana as deafening aerial shelling occurred 24/7 while an intense gun battle raged in the streets above. Adoriana risked her life for Yola when she left the shelter one afternoon and stole a bag of kibble from a nearby pet store where other looters searched for pet food.  In the early months of the war, Yola had an important job to do. She needed to comfort Adoriana during many dark and hopeless days and nights underground. She also had to