To help make sense of what happened, the former actor turned to writing and has since penned a book about his experience.
SINGAPORE: Living life between attacks and constantly wondering if there would be a tomorrow occupied the mind of Singaporean Ix Shen, who was living in Ukraine when Russia invaded the country more than a year ago.
“We were just grateful that we managed to survive every other day,” said the former actor on Thursday (May 25).
“When you’re caught in a war zone, you have to make the mental preparation for yourself that you might not be able to see tomorrow.”
Mr Shen and his Ukrainian wife were based in the capital Kyiv when the war started. As the situation unfolded, he provided first-hand accounts and updates to various media outlets and volunteered with humanitarian aid groups.
MAKING SENSE OF HIS EXPERIENCE
“The strain on us was actually the mental stress of trying to cope with everything,” he told CNA938’s Asia First.
To help make sense of what he went through, Mr Shen, who is currently back in Singapore, turned to writing and has since penned a book about his experiences.
His book, titled Impressions of an Invasion: A Correspondent in Ukraine, captures the early days of the invasion and takes readers on his physically demanding and emotionally exhausting evacuation to Poland.
For him, it was also a form of therapy, where he could process his experiences, including the traumatic moments.
“I chose to write this book because I was constantly bombarded with questions about what it was like in a war zone. It’s actually the easiest way and the most comprehensive way that I can answer most questions,” said Mr Shen.
“It’s also therapy for me, to deal with the ordeal that I went through, and in some ways to revisit what I’ve experienced and to accept that it has, in some way, shaped and moulded who I am now.”
The autobiography, published by Marshall Cavendish International, provides a unique Asian perspective on a topic often shrouded in political spin. It also features photographs on the turmoil of the Ukraine war.
“A lot was going through my mind,” said Mr Shen, who started his career as a photojournalist before pursuing acting.
“How did we survive that? And after we had survived that, the next question was, how do we remain sane after surviving that?”
SHINING A LIGHT ON THE PLIGHT OF UKRAINIANS
At a media launch for the book on Thursday, he requested for the event to be held at a bunker in Singapore.
Mr Shen, who lived in one during the invasion, had wanted the media to get a sense of what it feels like to be stripped of necessities in a war.
For now, he continues to support Ukrainians affected by the war, including facilitating non-profit medical supplies for hospitals in the country and shining a light on the plight of those still living there.
“The truth of the Ukraine situation speaks for itself. It’s up to every individual to choose to stay informed, or to be ignorant about it,” he said.
“They can choose to help or they can choose to watch. For those who choose to help, it’s actually quite easy once you make that decision, because there is a lot of information (available and) there are a lot of situations where people can help.”
At the media launch, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Singapore Kateryna Zelenko, who was a guest-of-honour, said this is not only her country’s war.
“This is something that means to everyone, especially for the younger generation, for younger people in Singapore, to understand that there are things that we are used to taking for granted like safety and security.”
Mr Shen’s book, which retails for S$23.35 before the Goods and Services Tax (GST), is available at all major bookstores and online shops from June.
Learn More: latest news on stimulus,u visa latest news,o panneerselvam latest news,g dragon latest news,latest news about stimulus check,j cole latest news,p chidambaram latest news,hepatitis b latest news,sarah g latest news,l&t latest news,p square latest news,