To Defenders of Freedom

A teacher gives classes from a basement amid shelling in Kharkiv

Mykhailo Sporadets teaches at Vasyl Karazin Kharkiv National University. Neither war nor the destructive airstrikes of Russian troops on the city prevented him from teaching classes this semester. The university switched to remote learning, so Mykhailo meets with students online from the basement, the safest place at this point.

The man converted the bomb shelter into a workplace and stocked up with warm clothes. He also took tools for in case the basement is under rubble and he will need to get himself out. The teacher immediately goes to the basement when there’s an airstrike alert because the Russian jets have already attacked some places nearby: Taras Shevchenko Factory, a military tank school, Kholodna Hora neighborhood.

Mykhailo says: “A university teacher, especially if they are an associate professor or professor, has to look proper. But I teach “Post-Modern Ukrainian Literature,” so I thought that I can look post-modern as well. Getting ready for lectures and practical classes, reviewing students’ works — it all serves as a distraction. Everyone has to do what one can.”

Explore more