Irina Aleksandrovna is from the village of Frunze, LPR. It’s in the “gray zone”. You know what that is? Briefly, a place where there’s fighting. On the “line of contact.” After yet another shell impact (which are not rare there) the woman grabbed her four grandkids, picked up the bag with documents, and drove to Lugansk. Abandoned a house where she had lived her whole life. Where are the children’s parents? They are the sort that social workers euphemistically refer to as “unfit”. The mother exists only on paper. But luckily the kids have a grandma.
Irina Aleksandrovna was born in 1963. When Lena visited them, she was not clear on who was coming with the kids. A child, a sister? Tiny, thin, “only eyes”.
The woman fled to Lugansk. Friends of friends put her up in an apartment near Kambrod. It was empty since ’14–the owner had left. But allowed them to live there.
I may say that we constantly encounter families of internal “refugees”. Who escape to the city from “gray zones”, to escape shells. And the locals always try to help. Shops sell “on credit”, knowing that the debt may never be repaid. People share their last. That’s how Irina Aleksandrovna lives in her new place.
“The kids tasted tragedy to last a lifetime. It’s clear from how they treat food. Children immediately go after treats, but the serious-eyed Vladik and his sister carefully and respectfully place each package in the cupboard. He said “thank you” after every packet. Sincerely, without anyone coaching him…On the photos they look like ordinary kids. The photos do not capture all of their pain.”
The eldest, Mark, born 2010, was in school. Vladik 2015, Vitalina 2016, Ekaterina 2018.
Every day I read comments under posts about the people we care after which say “why not leave”.
I’ve answered such questions so many times that now I either ban or ignore such people. I’m tired of explaining. And yes, there are people who do not understand what war is, what it means to be a refugee with children, to run with clothes on your back and leave everything behind. Tens of thousands ran in ’14, and as you know very many have returned. Not because they are “lazy” or “don’t want to work” or “want to get free stuff”, as I’m often told in comments. There indeed are lazy people, and rude ones, but my experience of dealing with Donbass people is that they are very hardworking ones.
It’s like every place else–there are ALL KINDS of people. They return because it’s hard to start over when you have kids. yes, some managed. Half of the stories in facebook are people who “made it”. They are amazing and I’m in awe of them. But those who “didn’t make it” are also numerous. And don’t think that you’d have “made it” in their place. You are very clever sitting on your couch, knowing what’s right. Don’t overestimate your abilities and don’t undertake too much. My experience tells me that those who yell the loudest are often rather impotent and simply jealous people, incapable of anything other than judging others.
But they got lucky with their grandmother. But now she is struggling due to her advanced age and having to take care of four (FOUR!) kids. She does everything for them.
Is it difficult? Unbearably so. But the main thing is that she loves them, and the kids love her. That’s the most important thing.
Friends, thank you all for your concern, for continuing to read these posts and continuing your assistance.
If you want to help this family, please label your contributions “Grandma Ira.”
Please use that label–we have several Iras whom we help.
If you want to join the aid effort for the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebook, V Kontakte, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Paypal address: email@example.com.