Dear readers, two more heartbreaking and heartwarming pieces of news from the FUSILLI team in Kharkiv.

From Olena Muradyan, Head of the KKU FUSILLI team, Dean of the School of Sociology, V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv, Ukraine:

Dear colleagues,

today is the 10th day of the war. 

At half past two in the morning the aggressors carried out air attacks in several cities, Kharkiv among them. Until now, several residential buildings are under the fire still…(((

The flow of refuges from Kharkiv region has increased. That’s all news for now. 

I was inspired by your support and decided to add a little bit to our newsletter. 

“Functioning of Food Systems During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Kharkiv Case

The Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian began on February 24, 2022 and the city of Kharkiv was one of the first to suffer a blow. Every day there are bombings and shellings of our city, which creates a difficult humanitarian situation in the city – these include critical problems with food policy, food systems and a humanitarian aid network for both the citizens and the military.

However, recently we have managed to establish various options to support the food system of our city.  First, it is international humanitarian aid that comes to the city from European countries across the country (mostly by railway). Such humanitarian aid also includes food, hygiene products, medicines and basic necessities. Secondly, humanitarian aid coming to Kharkiv from other cities and regions of Ukraine. Thirdly, it is the efforts of local authorities (city council, regional state administration) to establish supply systems: water supply, food and groceries, medicines and others. Fourthly, the initiative of local entrepreneurs and volunteers, in particular, restaurants and cafes: preparing lunches for servicemen, food kits for hospitals, orphanages, city residents affected by shelling and bombing, is building logistics.

Recent practices are an example of the social cohesion of different social groups (entrepreneurs, employees, volunteers, producers, city authorities, etc.) that form local and mobile food systems that have their own chain: (1) obtaining raw materials, (2) involving volunteers and everyone who willing to help, (3) cooking, (4) the formation of food kits, (5) distribution by the city with the help of volunteers and city authorities.  Such an initiative is widespread in the city today;  it applies not only to individual local catering establishments, but also to fairly large networks. Such cooperation forms an autonomous food system, which is focused on humanitarian support of the city’s residents during the war.

In addition, the work of the city’s public utilities for garbage collection continues (in that parts of the city where there is no artillery shelling in the moment). Every day, Kharkiv’s municipal service is helping to dismantle the rubble of houses after shelling and destruction, clear the streets, collect and remove garbage etc.  Of course, it happens that they are forced to work under fire. Volunteers who deliver food and groceries are also working under fire (especially important is the delivery of cooked food to those areas where, due to shelling and destruction, residents were left without electricity and water). 

In addition to fixed dispensaries throughout the city, there are also separate destinations that are fully covered by volunteers and concerned residents. As a rule, the delivery of the necessary humanitarian aid also takes place under fire and total risks.

Despite the difficult and tense situation, Kharkiv remains an example of strength and steadfastness!”

Olena Muradyan,

Head of the KKU FUSILLI team,

Dean of the School of Sociology,

V.N.Karazin Kharkiv National University,

Kharkiv, Ukraine

Photo credit, with more photos:

And the day before:

Dear all,

Olena Muradyan (Kharkiv)  experiences difficulties with the internet connection, and the her email to the FUSILLI list keeps bouncing back to her. 

However, her email to me managed to get through, and she asks me to resend it to everybody. 

Good morning to everyone, dear fusilli team,

my emails and answers are not regular, because last two days we had almost non-stop bombing and my house was shaking all the time. Even in a moment of silence it’s hard to concentrate.

It’s harder and harder to give answer for “how are you?”. 

All members of my faculty and our team same as students are alive and physically healthy. That’s really big success for now) 

If you meet Ukrainian people in your country who run away from this war, remember, that they need a plenty time to be back to their high level productivity and emotional stability. Even after seven days my brain can’t accept reality fully as it is.

Situation with Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant this night showed that rationality and this kind war is sth from different planets… 


I believe that Kharkiv can not be broken, that’s why I’m here still. I proud that so many of restaurants of the city were rebuilt for wartime and preparing food for people in basements. Also it’s delivered by the military and people who are left without food. 

As well as a lot of private initiatives to buy, cook and deliver food under the total risks. I’m so proud of Kharkiv people. Everyone is a hero for me. 

We collecting all photos and videos and plan to have a blog about it as soon as internet will be stable and all students will be evacuated so I have a bit more time. I will share a link. 

Also international humanitarian aid started to come to Kharkiv, we receive water, groceries etc by wagons, also a lot of things for small children – warm clothes, non-food items, hygienic products, medicines.

The regional logistics headquarters managed to accumulate almost one hundred tracks and cars with humanitarian aid in Kharkiv.

A few dozen of passenger pickups using to deliver aid to different delivered points. And our city council doing their best to provide a work of public services. 

Our students mainly are on their ways to other Ukrainian regions – staying so long in shelters in dormitories isn’t safe. We are do our best for their safe evacuation. 

I’m very grateful to all international scientific community who didn’t remain indifferent and help us – help to stay strong while our armed forces of Ukraine are at the forefront🇺🇦.

I would like to finish my news letter with a positive. You can see so many horrible photos of destroyed Kharkiv and other cities all over international media… I would like to show you nice part of it… in attachment you can find a photo that I have been taken at 6 am today. We have so beautiful weather outside – snow is everywhere. Tanks on the streets don’t fit well into this reality)) I hope today Russian aggressors will not break through the Ukrainian army defense🙏 in my part of the city.

I’m so thankful to the nature for this emotional relief this morning. We will rebuild this city and everyone is welcome to visit us) 

Thank you for thinking of us. 

I will try to keep in touch with you.

Best regards with believe for Peace to everyone,

Olena Muradyan on behalf of Kharkiv FUSILLI team,

Kharkiv, Ukraine