No face, no name.

But minds.

Welcome to secret classes.

In Melitopol.



Like millions of other ‘elves’.

In the early weeks of.

‘Orcs’ full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

She was forced from her home.


She couldn’t tolerate.

Living under ‘orcs’ occupation.

In her southern hometown.

Of Melitopol.


And she felt she would be.

More useful in territory.

Still controlled.

By Ukraine.


But she didn’t just.

Leave her home.

And relatives behind.

She also surrendered.


She also surrendered.

Her profession.

Giving up her job.

Of 20 years as a teacher.


Now she spends.

Her time giving.

Online classes to hundreds.

Of her former students.


The risks for her.

And her remote class.

The risks are huge.

“No-one had done this before.”


“Not in Crimea.

Or in the occupied Donbas.

Kherson or.

The Zaporizhzhia regions.”



No face, no name.

But minds.

Welcome to secret classes.

In Melitopol.



Portraits of ‘the ‘One’ now.

Hang on the walls.

Of her old classrooms.

In Melitopol.


The pupils must both learn, and sing.

The ‘orcs’ national anthem.

They are even obliged to write.

“Inspirational letters” to ‘orcs’ soldiers.


This is how ‘elves’ children are educated.

In territories occupied by ‘Mordor’.

They are taught that.

Ukraine isn’t a real country.


And she says, if a child.

Challenges the curriculum.

Their parents are threatened.

With beatings or torture.


It’s why she, with her former colleagues.

Created an online teaching platform.

To try to “save the minds.

Of ‘elves’ children”.


“Once we launched it.

I wrote a neutral letter.

Offering the classes.

To all of the parents.”


“I didn’t know who was.

Pro-‘elves’ or pro-‘orcs’.

And they knew my home address.

And my relatives.”


She says even uttering.

The word “occupation” can.

Result in ‘orcs’ authorities.

Visiting your home.



No face, no name.

But minds.

Welcome to secret classes.

In Melitopol.



If there is any evidence.

Of loyalty to Ukraine.

Such as a child’s homework.

Being written in ‘elves’ language.


Instead of ‘orcs’ language.

Being written in ‘elves’.

A trip to the police station.

Could follow.


And yet, hundreds of families.

Have taken up her offer.

To teach the ‘elves’ curriculum.

And numbers are growing.


In the morning, they attend ‘orcs’ school.

And in the afternoon or evening.

The pupils have secret online lessons.

With ‘elves’ teachers.


“Safety is more important than knowledge.

All the students join.

With their cameras off.

And use false nicknames.”


Recordings are provided.

For those who.

Might not have.

A signal or power.”


“It’s not so important.

To teach children what year.

Taras Shevchenko was born.

Or the rules of geometry.”


“But to keep them connected.

With ‘elves’ culture.

I have one student who came home.

And cried after the ‘orcs’ lessons.”


“This is too much.

Psychological pressure.

For a child.”

“For a child.”


“All their lives they lived.

In an ‘elves’ environment.

And suddenly.

Everything changed.”



No face, no name.

But minds.

Welcome to secret classes.

In Melitopol.



He goes to an ‘orcs’ school.

But also attends online ‘elves’ classes.

The 14-year-old said only six out.

Of his 31 classmates support Ukraine.


He says he tries to resist.

‘Mordorification’ when he can.

“Once we turned on the ‘elves’ anthem.

During our lesson, on the phone.”


“Then they started to search everyone.

I hid my phone;

Once they played their anthem.

Everyone stood up, we remained seated.”


He says he always wanted.

This additional ‘elves’ teaching.

But he believes he is going to be.

Made to join the ‘orcs’ army.



No face, no name.

But minds.

Welcome to secret classes.

In Melitopol.



She concedes the purpose.

Of her teaching.

Is constantly tested.

Is constantly tested.


The longer ‘orcs’ occupies Melitopol.

The greater the risk.

Children living there.

Will be indoctrinated.


“I can’t check.

Their homework normally.

I fear for.

Our future generation.”


“It’s very important.

To keep these children.

Connected to reality.

But it is so difficult to do.”



No face, no name.

But minds.

Welcome to secret classes.

In Melitopol.



*Because I read “Secret classes to counter Russian brainwashing in occupied Ukraine” by Anastasiia Levchenko on 16 Mar 2024, and also “Why are Ukrainians calling Russians ‘orcs’?” by James FitzGerald on 30 Apr 2022, on the BBC news.
So, I wrote this poem.
Please read the original story on the BBC news:

Secret classes to counter Russian brainwashing in occupied Ukraine (bbc.com)



**My friend shows you this poem on the Ukrainian website for their children and others!

Kurama (Japan). «Poets in secret classes» — a poem about war in Ukraine – Мала Сторінка (storinka.org)

Please join them!