People often write me that we’re helping OVER THERE, whereas we should be helping RIGHT HERE. My answer is–yes, probably.
Aid is needed by various people in various places. But it so happened that we’re helping the people of the Donbass. To be honest, I never was involved in helping anyone before the war, except myself. I was never a volunteer anywhere, did not participate in any initiatives. I empathized from afar, sometimes gave money to street musicians, and did reposts on social media. Though that’s been rare in recent times.
It was the war made me, at one point, drop everything, collect a carload of food, and take it into the hell of war. That was Pervomaysk. What’s there to say? It just so happened, I didn’t choose, didn’t decide. It was a spontaneous action which I will never be able to explain.
My first orphanage, dorm, retirement home, hospice, were all on the Donbass.
Where I saw another extreme of life, under wartime conditions. I saw abandoned disabled children, elderly, paralyzed. I encountered lies, deception for the first time. In the midst of war. I don’t know what I found more shocking, military operations or the squalor of human nature.
Years later, this is now a huge part of my life. But here’s what I want to say.
Back then, in 2014, we helped everyone who was there. As years passed, our aid became more selective. We have a very serious filter. Yes, there is an aid filter.
Rodion has arrived in Moscow together with his mom!
I want to express my thanks to Irina Bednova who helped us organize FREE rehabilitation treatment in Moscow.
Rodion was born during the war in Lugansk. He was so long awaited that his arrival turned out to be unexpected. After six months it was clear he had problems with hearing. Only after a year was he diagnosed with deafness. One must understand LPR has, to put it mildly, very limited health care capabilities. Moreover, it did not have the right specialists.
In May 2019 the boy had a cochlear implant made on the right ear in Moscow, thanks to Irina Bednova.
In September such an operation was performed on the left ear, but in Kiev. Also for free, thank God.
I’m not angry at him, but how can I not put him in the corner and chew him out? A grown dude, acting like a little kid!
The partisan is quiet, and the who matter is a delicate one for him. He’s awkward, embarrassed. Problems began a long time ago, with urology. He kept quiet about it. “Awkward”. “Embarrassing”.
It got to the point that our friends took him to a urologist for an evaluation. It turned out to be serious. They’ll have to cut. But the dumbest thing is that they lost a year at least because of “awkward” and “embarrassing”.
Seryoga, you are such a dummy!
Every day, literally every day, I get messages saying “why help these idlers, our own people are struggling too, let them find a job!” Others say they are themselves struggling, but are not “begging”. Every time I explain why this is false logic, but people keep coming and spitting their venom. I want to respond: just walk by, nobody’s forcing you to give money. It’s all voluntary. It’s up to you! But most importantly, never make such comparisons! Everyone is in a different situation, individual people are different too. Thank God you can make do without assistance! Not everyone is that strong, dammit. I’m writing banalities here, but where is all this anger coming from?
People! Just be thankful you don’t know what it is to be under mortar fire! Or spend the night in a bomb shelter! Be thankful you don’t know what it’s like to live for several years without electricity or tap water.
And you know what? It seems everyone thinks they would do everything right in that situation! That they know how to live right because they are so awesome! They’d leave Donbass, find work someplace else, their husband would never abandon them, and they would definitely would not let an asshole like that be the father of their children, and in the end they’d proudly collect alimony. He’d never hide from them!
Nothing of the kind.
I’ll say one thing–don’t tempt fate! Nobody knows what will happen. Just be thankful none of that happened to you. Walk by if you don’t want to help, but don’t judge! Life is unpredictable and the law of boomerang works all too well, as I’ve seen.
What is this all about? Many people are criticizing the family of our Ira from Vergunka. They condemn her, the kids, us for helping. But Ira does not have it easy, and she’s no beggar. She always works, often on multiple jobs. She’s alone, with two kids. She never asks for anything and never complains.
We have good news! Hurrah!
Last time I wrote they had problems concerning their custody.
The husband threw out the wife together with the kids out of their home in Crimea. She had no place to go, so she returned to her mother in LPR. That’s where tragedy happened. Her heart gave out, even though she was still young. She died right in front of the kids. The granny, when she returned, saw the kids sitting next to the body. Ever since it’s been a struggle to get the kids’ custody of the kids and depriving the father of parental rights. But since he’s not an LPR citizen, it’s an extra difficulty. But, Thank god! Social services deprived him of parental rights and transferred the case to courts.
With time, the granny will be able to get child care benefits. The most important thing is that all this time she was afraid the kids would be taken away from her.
During all this time, the granny and the kids lived off her retirement and odd jobs and our aid. These odd jobs are not easy to come by. There’s nobody to live the young ones with, and they often fall ill. It’s a complicated story. Anyone who’s raised small children without help knows what it’s like. And she herself is not a young woman, which makes it doubly difficult.
Yulya and Lera live alone. Yulya is a beautiful woman who, by a miracle, is still among the living. Now disabled and without a husband, she is nevertheless raising a daughter. Lives only for her. I already wrote about them. It was a chance encounter. They live next to our sisters whom we’ve been helping for years.
Yulya is still young but can barely walk, relying on a cane. Our Lena noticed her on the street. A few words were exchanged and everything was clear. Her life was a hard one. Everything is made worse by the fact they live in LPR. Where the socially vulnerable are particularly affected because social benefits are tiny. Medical support is limited. And yes, the war there is not an abstraction but a fact. People often write me to say that, well, we have plenty of people in Russia who need help. It’s all true, there are single moms, disabled, abandoned elderly, in Russia aplenty. But believe me, it’s ten times worse in a war zone. I realize that for many that war does not exist but..you know, it’s probably useless to explain. You either get it or you don’t. And I ask you, please ignore his post if you disagree with me. There are hundreds of pages, posts, bloggers who are begging for you to deposit your opinion there.
Our Vika, being a good Stakhanovite, performed nearly every day in late December.
I can’t understand how she’s not become a star yet.
Vika is not only a beauty, but also an improbably kind person with a strong voice.
And also with improbably high will power.
She’s had nothing but five years of cornucopia of problems, but she’s smiling, laughs, and lives.
In addition to presents for children and for institutions, we brought winter holiday presents to all the families we look after.
Our LPR team did massive work before the holidays by bringing families not only presents but also food. Naturally, we had no ability to provide caviar, but we did try to make their none-too-easy lives better.
In this post, there is a report about our heroic grannies who are raising grandkids.
And also the latest news.
You’ve known them all for years.
They are all struggling. In their age, with dozens of ailments, fighting with bureaucracy, they nevertheless raise grandkids. They love them and do the best they can. Some of the have lost their children to the war, which happened in front of the grandkids. And this is probably one of the most horrible things I’ve written about. Children who see the death of their parents.
Friends, thank you for your help and concern!
All of these people have become close to us all.
If you want to participate in helping these families, please label your contributions “grandmas”.
Once again, many thanks to you!
On Friday, on early morning of January 24, Elena Petrovna died in intensive care. She was a lonely retiree with no relatives. No husband, children, family.
She was being helped by a neighbor, also a retiree.
She spent the entire active part of the war of the summer of ’14 in her home in Lugansk: “where was I to go on my legs?” Her house was lucky, the shells flew by. The woman could only pray for her survival. She did not have the strength to run to bomb shelters, and her situation was the same as that of many other retirees. But the neighbors did get hit.
Epilepsy, stroke, hepatitis–this is a far from full list of ailments the woman had suffered in the past few years. In ’17 she was diagned with cancer.
We tried to help the woman as best we could. She did not have it easy at all.
Thank you everyone who helped us!
She is not suffering any more.
Our friend Natasha described Lyova as a “holy man. He prays for us all”. I don’t know what our Grasshopper believes, I didn’t ask. He’s a physician by education and avocation. He flies in the clouds, he lives and breathes numbers and formulas. But I’m absolutely certain it’s people like him who keep the world in balance–so I agree with Natasha. Not politicians, stars, and celebs. Everything depends on people like Lev. I know it, I’ve seen it, I feel it.
There is an amazing person in the tiny town of Pervomaysk, which is right in the line of fire in LPR. Most people around him treat him as slightly deranged. Or blessed. But you should have seen his bright eyes. Eyes, genuine eyes, full of life and earnestness. There is nothing ulterior in them, nothing that tears us from within.