Furries in war: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through the eyes of Tillian The Fox

by Patch O'Furr

Has war ever come to any sizeable part of the furry fandom, in 4 decades of growth for this worldwide group?

There are members who went to fight in foreign lands, or maybe had relatives flee when war happened. I’m just not recalling any place where hundreds or thousands of them had their houses shaken by hostile tanks, jets and shelling.

This hobby writer in California is challenged to cover news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There are furries on both sides. Recent Russian news here leads me to know about Russian furries sent to Ukraine, where they may kill Ukrainian furries. Furries with political aid jobs will help guide refugees to safety. Others face military conscription to fight back.

They see what I see: “the first time in the history of furry fandom that almost all members of one country are in fact combatants / victims of war.”@DimaOusti

The imperialist attack on a fully-accessible European nation feels as personal as the stress of a fursuit maker forced to flee, leaving his suits and bicycle behind.

An inside view takes grounding beyond a smidgen of Soviet Bloc history, and outstanding incidents that made North American news. Beware of industrialized deception. (Putin’s propaganda has tried to disrupt American elections too; you can take it personally while reviewing history of the conflict.)

Using translation apps and tips to visit Ukrainian furry groups feels like you don’t even know where to start. Imagine everyone you know showing you burning things near their house, and talking about picking up weapons to repel invaders. You feel at a loss for how to help with just words.

Here’s a thread based on Twitter and Telegram activity. There’s a map of furry chats in Ukraine, including 4 in capital city Kyiv alone; and a group owner estimate of 1000 or more furries in the country. Kyiv’s furry con is WUFF (UAfurence).

Thankfully, tips are coming to help.

The following story comes from Tillian the Fox. He explains: “Scary and dark stuff is going on and I need people to know this. Also I wanted to warn people that they should be vigilant and critical of what info they see online, because there is a lot of misinformation going around.”

My name is Tim, I am 18 years old, and I am a furry, I live in Kazakhstan, and although I am not the citizen of either Russia or Ukraine, I have relatives and friends from Ukraine, who I love and deeply care about.

Yesterday morning, I got a few voice messages in our Telegram chat from my friend Elena, she is from Ukraine. (name changed for anonymity). She was crying, she was terrified and she told me she didn’t know what to do.

I was confused. I asked her what the hell was going on. Elena told me that the Russian Army attacked her country and that she can hear the sounds of explosions far away.

And then she sent me multiple messages and videos of news sources in Telegram.

According to them, on 24th February at about 3:00 UTC, President of Russia Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in East Ukraine, and few minutes after that, missile strikes began at locations all across the country, including the capital Kyiv, and two hours later, Russian ground military forces entered the country.

I instantly logged onto Twitter to see what was happening, and the whole feed was in absolute chaos.

Each and every one of my friends in Ukraine were in panic. They posted sounds and videos of explosions and shots fired in their cities, air raid sirens going off, helicopters flying above the rooftops.

Some of them tweeted about evacuating and leaving the country, people were reposting safety threads about what to do during an air raid, where to seek shelter and what stuff they should take with themselves.

I still remember that gut-wrenching feeling of dread and fear when I actually realized the whole scale and danger of the situation.

I was afraid, just like them — and even though bombs and missiles were no threat to my hometown, I simply could not believe that this was happening, I just could not believe that this might be the last time I will ever see my relatives or friends.

Fortunately enough, by the time I write this, they are still alive.

Over time, it got progressively worse though. People were posting news and information. There was destruction, civilian deaths and terror, innocent people losing their homes, lives, families because of this senseless war.

In the evening, my friends from Russia, and dozens of other people went on a anti-war protest. There were rallies all across the country, including Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

Russian citizens wanted to rebel, to show this world that they don’t want this war and will do anything to stop this invasion, even at risk of being arrested or beaten up by the police. Among the protesters were the elderly WW2 veterans, who have fought against the nazis and have seen the war.

Anti-war protest in Saint Petersburg, Russia (by Anton Vaganov of Reuters) – From a good Facebook post by Rebecca Solnit

And here is what I have to say. I don’t care how much anyone who reads this story will judge me.

I don’t care what the Russian government thinks it will achieve with this violence. This is not how it is supposed to be.

At my young age of 18 years, I am supposed to hang out with my friends, not to shake in fear, thinking that I might see my Ukrainian relatives or friends for the last time.

At 18, I should be throwing parties, not monitoring military movements on the internet.

I am supposed to read books, to devote time to my dreams and hobbies, I am supposed to think about what clothes to go out in, to play video games and argue if Nirvana is better than Pink Floyd, BUT I CAN’T.

Because somewhere out there the Kremlin army is KILLING PEOPLE.

Not only the inhabitants of Ukraine got involved, but also everyone who has friends, lovers and relatives from this country.

But it is not supposed to be like this. defenseless people and children are not supposed to die, bullets are not supposed to whistle, and houses are not supposed to blow up.

No violence is ever justified, and I appeal to every person who reads this. Please, protest, donate to humanitarian organizations that help Ukrainian people and let the world know what is happening here. Don’t let the voices of the victims to be forgotten.

Because it’s not supposed to be like this.

Tillian The Fox

Here is some charity donation information. Keep in mind that direct donation isn’t allowed to Ukrainians by PayPal, Ko-fi, etc. Crowdfunds may restrict military related funding. You may need to research methods or charities that aren’t restricted.

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