Ira and Petya

In December there was a prisoner exchange between the Republics and Ukraine. Among them was Petya who’s been in captivity for about 2 years. He and his wife Ira and thee kids lived in the village of Zolotoye-4. Near Pervomaysk, but on the Ukrainian side. Petya joined the militia: “When they started to kill us from aircraft–we all knew who was doing it, saw the planes, and I couldn’t just sit at home.” Several of their neighbors perished right in front of them. Died on the spot.
Petya’s parents and sister left for Western Ukraine 8 years earlier. When the Donbass was bombed, before Petya joined the militia he called them. Called to hear the voices of relatives, hear words of support, share the shock of what he saw–it was impossible to accept and understand what just happened. Nobody could believe what was happening–aircraft, and bombs falling onto ordinary homes. His own mother told him: “It’s your own fault.” Then he called the sister, who answered: “What did mother tell you? She was right, don’t call us anymore.”
They’ve had no contact since. An ordinary story–there are hundreds of such relations, people who refuse to believe what the relatives from Donbass say, who don’t want to hear anything and who believe that “it’s their own fault.”
Dear God, how many times have I heard these words…How many times…


On the photo above you see Ira, Petya’s wife, and three boys. The youngest Rodion was born on June 29, 2014, right in the midst of the war. He has known no life other than war. This woman and her kids lived the whole time in Zolotoye-4, in Ukraine, right on the line of separation. A month before the exchange she managed to depart for LPR. Crossed the Ukraine-LPR border on foot near Stanitsa Luganskaya. Two years ago she badly broke her leg and has limped ever since. Alone, three kids, limping, carrying bags, in winter, over snow, but she crossed the border. It’s a miracle they let her through, because they at first didn’t. It helped that she lied she’s separated from her husband since 2013–she told the guards once she got pregnant, he left her.
That was in December ’17.
They received a dorm room in Lugansk–bare walls, but at least well fixed up. She and the kids had almost nothing, they took only the barest necessities. But, thank God, people help–someone brought potatoes, someone else plates.
In February, after the exchange, Petya joined the family and now they are together. But Petya is not over the captivity yet. He’s young, 35, but really aged. Lots of ailments, he caught hepatitis C in captivity. Ira still limps, her knee never did set right. They are young, their lives are ahead of them. But…
What do you think it’s like to start over from nothing? No apartment, no relatives, no friends, no money, no clothes, but with three kids?
And then there’s the psychological trauma. I won’t tell you what Petya went through during those two years.
The family is in a very hard spot. They have almost nothing. You can’t even imagine how happy they were to see what we brought.
Pans, forks, and, most importantly–food.

They have no cupboard, no refrigerator, no linens, no clothes–nothing. Absolutely nothing! Petya has several ailments, Ira limps and has constant pain in her legs. They are not yet drawing any benefits that would help them survive.

But do you know what one of the boys told me? “I really wanted these scissors!”
The boy was happy to get simple plastic scissors which we brought with school supplies which the family doesn’t have. Scissors!!!!!
Please excuse me, but I don’t know how to comment on that…
These kids lost their father for two years, their grandmother and aunt turned away from them, believing “it’s their own fault”, which means killing them is “good and proper.” These kids saw bombs falling on them from aircraft. Saw neighbors die in the gardens. I’m curious, does their grandmother realize what her grandkids went through? “It’s their own fault?”
The kids went through hell, now live in a tiny dorm room, with nothing.
But they have loving parents, which is very important.

I’m proud to know people like Petya. Who didn’t sit on his hands, who went off to risk his life for his ideas.
Many believe this is stupidity and madness. But when I read hundreds of comments from those who think they know better, I get nauseous. From all of these empty couch-bound know-it-alls.
Petya went into the militia when he saw that they, ordinary people, simple workers, miners, kids, elderly, are being bombed by aircraft. Most of his former fellow citizens think it was the right thing to do to bomb them, because “it’s their own fault.”
I’m asking you to help this family.
Please make any donations meant for them with the label “Petya and Ira”.
Thank you!

If you want to help the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebookV Kontakte, or email: littlehirosima@gmail.com. Paypal address: littlehirosima@gmail.com.


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