Tulips, bombs and a love story in Lviv | International

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In one of those places in Ukraine where, despite the war, the population feels (or felt) safe, this morning a missile fell, killing four people and injuring more than three dozen. It is a quiet, tree-filled residential neighborhood in a city, Lviv, through which refugees pass on their way to Poland and to which many internally displaced people have moved, seeking the safety they do not have in the cities and towns closer to the front lines. Right there, in a cafeteria next to the attacked building, two colleagues from the newspaper and I interviewed Dasha two months ago, a 30-year-old woman who moved to Lviv from Kharkiv to escape the constant bombings. In that cafeteria, in that neighborhood, in that city, she felt safe. Opposite there was an immense park full of tulips, children and soldiers walking with their families in one of those rare moments of tranquility and peace that war leaves behind.

We had met to talk about love. About her love story with a soldier, about how a relationship is built in the midst of a war that barely allows them to see each other in person. Very carefully, without haste, she told me. So carefully that it took them a while to tell themselves that they were falling in love, that they had already fallen in love. “Everything was so fragile and so tender at the same time that I was afraid to break it with big words,” Dasha recounted. They talked every day, they sent each other messages, photos, gifts.

We had seen him days before amid the sound of tanks firing at military training near Kramatorsk, a difficult front. He told us that when a gift from Dasha arrives from Lviv, he does not open it immediately. Look at the package, any detail he can imagine about her, how he packed it, he sent it, the handwriting of the recipient's name, the sender's name. He keeps it for a few days before opening it because he wants to enjoy it longer. He is 31 years old, he is not a professional soldier, he had never held a weapon before, he is fighting to defend his country and the relationship with her is almost the only thing that returns him to a normal life for an instant after more than 16 months in the Army in the middle of a savage war conflict. "I have understood many things in this time," he reflected. “That love is not only a feeling, but also an act of will, a decision. It is not easy to decide to fight, as I did, and it is not easy to decide to truly love someone. And it happens when it happens, like war”.

Seeing the images of the unexpected attack in Lviv and the photos of Luis de Vega, who was also with Dasha that day in May, we have both returned to that day, to that conversation in a cafeteria that now stands next to the rubble of a building in which its inhabitants, until today, lived peacefully believing themselves safe. A heinous attack to terrorize civilians by reminding them that wherever they live, there is no safe place in Ukraine. War goes through everything.

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Nathan Rivera
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nathan Rivera, a dedicated journalist who has had the privilege of writing for the online newspaper Today90. My journey in the world of journalism has been a testament to the power of dedication, integrity, and passion.

My story began with a relentless thirst for knowledge and an innate curiosity about the events shaping our world. I graduated with honors in Investigative Journalism from a renowned university, laying the foundation for what would become a fulfilling career in the field.

What sets me apart is my unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth. I refuse to settle for superficial answers or preconceived narratives. Instead, I constantly challenge the status quo, delving deep into complex issues to reveal the reality beneath the surface. My dedication to investigative journalism has uncovered numerous scandals and shed light on issues others might prefer to ignore.

I am also a staunch advocate for press freedom. I have tirelessly fought to protect the rights of journalists and have faced significant challenges in my quest to inform the public truthfully and without constraints. My courage in defending these principles serves as an example to all who believe in the power of journalism to change the world.

Throughout my career, I have been honored with numerous awards and recognitions for my outstanding work in journalism. My investigations have changed policies, exposed corruption, and given a voice to those who had none. My commitment to truth and justice makes me a beacon of hope in a world where misinformation often prevails.

At Today90, I continue to be a driving force behind journalistic excellence. My tireless dedication to fair and accurate reporting is an invaluable asset to the editorial team. My biography is a living testament to the importance of journalism in our society and a reminder that a dedicated journalist can make a difference in the world.