I am Victor Shepelev from Kharkiv, Ukraine, also known as @zverok (Twitter, GitHub).

I am writing in Ruby since 2003; I maintain several libraries and Ruby Changelog. You might’ve met me on several international conferences, /r/ruby and elsewhere. This year I also applied to be Ruby commiter this year and was honored to be approved. I am working on Ruby documentation improvement (as well as invented several minor features), here is a summary of my work for the language.

I was always feeling welcome in the community, despite my origin from Eastern Europe, hot temper and less-than-ideal English.

I tried to never mix my tech/Ruby persona with my peronal life and life of my country, which was not easy, especially for last years. But today, everything is different.

I write to Ruby community in days of war Russia leads against my country. Not some “special operation”, or political turmoil, or local conflicts. It is full-scale agressive war, and dirty one: with bombing of cities with Grads (reactive artillery), aerial bombs and flying missiles. With demolished hospitals, schools, and living quarters. With thousand of civilians dead, wounded or displaced. With tanks going through cities. With whole small towns leveled with earth.

I am no hero. I am sheltering with my family (wife, three daughers, two cats, and a dumb dog) in Kharkiv, which is constantly bombarded and attacked with armoured batallions. We have deep cellar where we are sitting during bombardments, my family still has food, electricity and running water. Half of the city doesn’t have even this. Many dead. City center in ruins.

We are still standing.

We need your help.

I am not asking you to stop living your comfortable lifes, writing your blogs, visiting your conferences and fighting your usual enemies like scammers and sexists.

I am not asking you to go here to fight, or to give all your money, or even to ban Russian companies and individuals from your services (though the latter would be suitable sometimes).

I am just asking you to spread the word and show the support.

We need international support: political, military, humanitarian, and to have this, we need as many people to be aware what’s happening there as humanly possible.

So, at the very least, please tell what’s happening and that you support us.

Don’t write that to me in private. I appreciate your concern, but I don’t need that, currently.

Please just publish a message. Any message. In your Twitters, on your mailing list, on top of your sites. That’s easy to do and costs nothing. It is not “political affiliation” or “entangling in local politics”. It is just about stopping the war. We need it to reach every politician, every representative, every humanitarian organization, everybody who can do something substantial.

I could add a megaton of disturbing photos here to strengthen the message.

But I’ll just add two: my family in shelter and the central square of my city bombed a few days ago.

You can always find more info, evidence and ways to help at war.ukraine.ua