The war changed everything. Our lives, thoughts, actions, habits, motives, dreams, fears and much more have changed. But there is one fundamental factor that is inextricably linked to all change. It's a sense of time. It has changed radically. Some Ukrainians have lived another life for the last month and a half. For others, the whole time of the war flew by in a second. We have a lot of evidence about this. Both were knocked out of their comfort zone by the war as if by knockdown. We were shocked. As a result, we began to waste time on a massive scale. But this war cannot be won by wasting time, because perhaps it is our only undoubted basic resource. And a month and a half of war confirms this in several planes.

The first plane is military. In the first days of the war, Russia wanted to throw hats at us. At the same time, the degree of readiness of Ukraine was pleasantly surprised. The result is huge losses for the Russian army. The Kremlin's self-confidence and the effect of surprise on our readiness led to the fact that time played for us: every day Muscovites suffered huge losses. The consequences of this fact are unbelievable: the West's rethinking of its positions, the fear of Russian citizens who will later thwart mobilization plans, queues at Ukrainian military enlistment offices, and so on. If Ukraine had used the resources of the first days of the war differently, we would probably have lost a long time ago. But we stand very confidently.

When the advance of the Russian army stopped, the Kremlin began to cunningly swear: to negotiate without purpose, meaning and no progress, to regroup military units, to mobilize reserves, to adapt propaganda to work in new information realities. Instead of launching a more active counterattack and killing the enemy, Ukraine believed that negotiations could be effective, but eventually lost time. Maybe it was objective, because we did not have enough equipment for a massive counteroffensive. There may have been other reasons. We do not know everything. But time was lost and he started playing against us. Russia has regrouped and is now advancing on Donbas with new forces, awareness of the first mistakes and conclusions drawn. Everyone expects that this offensive will be much hotter and more brutal than in the first days of the war.

There are two points that give hope that we will make time play for us again. First, it is a visit to Kyiv by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, timed to supply Ukraine with anti-ship missiles that could unlock Mariupol and Black Sea ports. Secondly, it is warming, spring, which will green the forests, which will increase the safe mobility of the Ukrainian army (perhaps this is one of the reasons for the withdrawal of the remnants of Russian troops from the northern part of Ukraine, densely forested). But so far these points are rather theoretical. Because in the near future the degree of war may be such that many will be startled.

The second plane is foreign relations. In this context, in the first days of the war, time clearly played on our side. The skepticism, hidden superiority, and tendency toward balance inherent in the West have changed to its fascination with Ukraine, unity, and effectiveness. Russia has received unprecedented sanctions that it did not expect, blinded by contempt for the West and disbelief in the effectiveness of democracy. In terms of information, Ukraine also used this time very well: thanks to large-scale rallies in the Ukrainian diaspora and the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees, as well as a focused, systematic information campaign organized by the Ukrainian authorities, we captured the hearts of developed countries. to the fact that hundreds of international companies are closing or reducing their activities in Russia. As a result, we have achieved that developed countries are supplying us with weapons in advance, although so far only within its red lines, which pass through the supply of aircraft to Ukraine or the closure of the Ukrainian sky. The financial component of their assistance is so large that the NBU is recording an increase in gold and foreign exchange reserves, and the humanitarian component is so large that many military units and hospitals are provided with many positions in the coming months.

However, our victories on the diplomatic front are not enough to win or stop the war. The West may get tired of Ukraine. Theoretically (this scenario cannot be ruled out), it could suspend or limit arms supplies or funding when we are ready to go on the offensive. Or it can supply exactly as much as it needs to deter the Russian army's offensive, inflicting heavy losses on it, but not enough to launch a counteroffensive. It is difficult to expect anything unambiguous here, but we must understand that we are critically dependent on the West in the war on which our existence depends. Until Ukraine leaves the TV screens in the West, the people of developed countries will remember us, support us, and their politicians will be forced to respond to this public demand. It is therefore extremely important that Ukrainian refugees and the diaspora continue to hold weekend rallies in European and American capitals and major cities. Then time will play for us under any circumstances.

There are two other factors that indicate that time is on our side. First, the embargo on Russian energy. Unfortunately, it has not yet been introduced, as many countries are critically dependent on their supplies. But there is some progress in this direction: developed countries are increasingly looking for alternative energy sources and supplies and are getting closer every day to the fact that the embargo will be imposed. The main thing is that the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian war does not leave the Euro-Atlantic agenda. This is a very powerful step, the preparation of which is already terrifying the Muscovites. Secondly, sanctions against Russia. Many analysts criticize them as insufficient. On the one hand, yes, there are not enough of them, because the war continues, people continue to die. But let's look at them from another angle: these are unprecedented sanctions, which have no analogues in history. That is, technically, there is no document ever written from which you can automatically copy the text in a few minutes, change the name of another country to Russia and publish it as another restriction for Russia. All this must be invented, legally recorded and implemented. It takes time and resources, and developed countries use them as quickly as their bureaucracy allows. In both cases, time plays for Ukraine, because both trends are moving in the direction we need. It may be doing it slower than we would like, but it is definitely on our side. We just need to let it do its job, while maintaining the degree of information space of developed countries, so that they are not tempted to slow down.

The West's inertia stems from the fact that Western politicians are looking for a balance that Ukraine has unexpectedly upset in a heroic way. But it seems that the West does not see or underestimate one nuance: when you are big at least in size, not to say omnipotent, sometimes it is worth just showing intention. Just as an angry lion's roar repulses its rivals from any desire to oppose its will, so Europe and America could avoid many problems by simply demonstrating a principled determination to overcome them under any circumstances.

Is the West afraid of rising energy prices due to the embargo on Russian oil, gas and coal? But if it were introduced, prices would rise once (probably in a year, all consumers in Western economies would forget about it), but Russia would receive such a strong signal that it would be forced to back down. As a result, high prices may not last long, as there are preconditions for easing some sanctions. For the economy, a few weeks of very high oil prices is clearly a better alternative than a few years of geopolitical uncertainty in central Europe. In this sense, it is not a matter of bureaucracy, which is the reason for the long period of preparation of sanctions and their gradual implementation, but in the absence of determination. Indecision, which is strategically erroneous and even criminal. To convince Russia that Western values ​​are worth something, it is necessary to show that whole countries are ready at any moment to sacrifice something important for them in order to preserve and uphold these values. The West's determination to demonstrate this would be a critical value victory that would make the overall victory a matter of time and even short time. Because as soon as Russia realizes that there is nothing to catch, it turns around and leaves. Ukraine is sacrificing the lives of its citizens, while the West is not ready to donate a few dollars or euros from the wallets of Europeans and Americans. That is why Russia, which, by the way, is also sacrificing the lives of Russians for its scraps, ideology and propaganda, is rightly despising the West. That is why, in terms of sanctions, time is not playing as effectively for Ukraine as it could. And many even think that he is playing against us.

The third plane is economic. The Ukrainian economy was hit hard by the war. In the first days, before the advance of Russian troops stopped, it rapidly lost people, assets, businesses, and connections. Then time clearly played against us. However, the West has done everything to make this game minimally tangible for us. In this sense, Western financial assistance is invaluable. But, perhaps, it is impossible to win a war for someone else's money and weapons, especially when it comes to existential war. Ukraine needs to rebuild its economy and, by and large, build a new one. Otherwise, we will depend on someone else's will and probabilistic schedules. And we can't afford that.

In this sense, there is much evidence that the Ukrainian economy is currently being intensively restructured in accordance with new realities: Lviv's Shuvar wholesale market is simply boiling (so many people, especially in the off-season I have not seen there), migrants open cafes and hairdressers in western Ukraine. Medium and large investors are restructuring logistics from Black Sea ports to road and rail connections with Europe. The economy is buzzing with activity like a beehive. Here, time has begun to play on us, because while the Russian economy is bound by a new set of sanctions, the Ukrainian one is being rebuilt. The liberation of Kyiv is a huge step in economic terms, as not only does the capital’s economy account for a significant share of Ukraine’s GDP, but internal economic ties and relations are very often built through Kyiv.

Here it is important to make a few accents. In the economy, time is the main resource. Time multiplied by efficiency is the basis of the whole result of economic activity. On the one hand, you can't waste time. Because in a sense, in the current conditions, this is a moral crime against one's country. Then we will have to explain to our conscience why this time was wasted and how much the lives of our brothers and sisters cost. On the other hand, it is now very common to hear that everyone has to do what they are effective at. This is a profound economic truth. One can only clarify that it is primarily about efficiency in military conditions. It is clear that many do not sit still, hands itch to do something, but the head is not able to think what exactly, so the result is a fuss, because of which time is actually wasted. You need to stop for a moment, breathe, calm down, think, feel the moment and yourself in it - and the decision will come. It is extremely important to do what you are effective at, what can benefit the state and what the war will not be able to break so easily that you do not have to start again. There are specific examples (from IT work, which guarantees almost uninterrupted income, to growing vegetables in the fields of western Ukraine to compensate for losses from the temporarily occupied Kherson region), but in reality there is so much variety that you can't reveal them all. Just don't sit back and approach it wisely. Don't waste time and do it rationally.

In economic terms, the proper handling of money is important. For time to play for us, we need to ensure the highest possible speed of money. Some save as much as possible, others give the last savings to the army. And how to do it right? First, from a macroeconomic point of view, you need to spend everything you earn, not keep money, do not try to save (at best, the savings will go through the financial sector, and there they will stay long due to the complexity of procedures, and at worst lie under the mattress - it is simply an act of bleeding of the economy). Leave it for later. Secondly, it is necessary to save resources, especially strategic ones - food, fuel, etc., ie everything that the army uses, because supply may be interrupted, especially given the systemic missile strikes of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian oil depots. Emphasis on the material, consumer side of these resources (goods), not on the value. Third, you need to meet your minimum needs. If you need to sit in a cafe (see the fourth plane) to get out of depression, you can spend a certain amount on it, but preferably without excess. Fourth, everything that remains after that must be spent either on the army or on products (goods, services, work) of Ukrainian producers to support the economy (save jobs for those who do not fight), which will be able to deduct the maximum possible part revenues to the budget for the centralized financing of the army. Do not trust the budget - give money to volunteers you trust, but do not waste it and do not save. Only in this way will we make time play to our advantage in the economic sphere.

The fourth plane is psychological. Some Ukrainians have felt the maximum possible density of time, ie it seems to us that at least a decade has passed in a month and a half. This effect is probably related to the experience: reading the news about the war, looking at pictures of its consequences, we feel deep emotions, we can experience in a second what we could not live a year before the war. Hence, such a saturation of time and the feeling that we are burning it is just a waste. You should not do this. As long as the war lasts, dramatic pictures of atrocities, suffering and destruction will appear. We will suffer in a human way, but we will lose our will and waste our time. Although such a reaction is quite humane and natural, we play into the hands of the enemy and make time play against us. You should not get stuck in the news in search of experiences. It is better to use this time for the benefit of the country, its economy or the army. You need to keep your brain, mind and soul in hygiene. Only in this way will we be strong enough to survive and win this war.

The rest of the Ukrainians felt complete devastation, as a result of which time seemed to have stopped at 5:00 on February 24, 2022. The analogy here is simple: before the war, our lives were calm, measured, but every day there were small or big reasons for joy or sorrow, and when the war broke out, some lost any ability to react, as if multiplying time by zero. We seem to have stopped living at some point. Time is running out, but we do not live, we do not work, we do not help Ukraine to win. We are wasting time, so he is playing against us here as well. It is necessary to get out of this state. In motorists' terms, we need to "light up" from a "battery", that is, to recharge our lives from those who inspire through songs, poems, something else, that is, through some fragments of creativity that usually inspired us the most before the war. Moreover, new elements of Ukrainian art are now appearing in an unrestrained, stormy stream, which is eventually gaining global resonance. We can not allow the enemy to block us psychologically, so the manifestations of such depressive states must be fought in all ways. Otherwise we will waste time and weaken our country.

From the spiritual point of view reflected in many religions, any war begins from within, from the struggle for the integrity of one's inner world, for the preservation of one's own soul. We are fighting for this, let's not underestimate this front. If each of us wins the internal struggle, we will face an external enemy as a strong, invincible monolith. Who needs prayer for this - pray, who needs a wise book - read, who needs a good word - communicate. It is important to understand that in this plane time is entirely up to us. If we do not waste it, then in other areas we will make it work for us. If we lose control over it, the enemy wins local victories.

The fifth plane is mental. It is about realizing that Russia is a primordial, valuable existential enemy. Until this realization was made, the Kremlin constantly had some claims against us. When it is complete, everything will end in our victory. And this is the only direction in which time is constantly playing on us. With every Ukrainian loss, every Bucha, every orphan, the burning of the understanding that Russia is an enemy bursts into the essence of every Ukrainian. First on a conscious level, then on a subconscious level, and then on a mental, genetic level, like the Holodomor or other markers of our identity. Russian propagandists argue that the Kremlin should seize control of Ukraine and turn on its propaganda here, as in a few months Ukrainians will mentally return to the bosom of the "Russian measure." But is it possible to erase the hatred burned there by the pictures of atrocities committed by the once "brotherly" people?

The mental shift that Ukrainians have been experiencing for the past month and a half has done an incredible amount: it unites us, motivates us, and forces us to change for the better. After all, he makes the earth burn under the feet of non-humans. So far, we can underestimate what an invaluable social asset we have received. But he is already working for us over time. This is visible to the naked eye. Probably, I will not be mistaken when I say that he motivates many Ukrainians to take concrete steps in each of the above directions. But to win the war, the mental shift must be completely over, and those who for some reason still have doubts, or change their minds, or understand that they are not part of this people, have nothing to do with it, and do not interfere. to him to build his future on his land.

War is change. They happen in time. Therefore, the time now is worth its weight in gold. To win, we must cherish it and use it wisely. Because every hour we waste, our brothers and sisters die. Could there be anything more important than that?