Grandma Frost

I have an incredible pile of reports on the recent aid work in Lugansk. I don’t know where to start. Then there’s the damned injury which has temporarily deprived me of sports, which is always dangerous to people around me. Peaceful atom, if not released, may become dangerous.
So I’ve decided to remind New Year is nigh.

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Pretty good news

That happens too. We have pretty good news, although maybe that’s not the right phrase to use when you are talking about someone with advanced cancer…In mid November, I wrote about Lilya, a woman who got cancer in ’14 and wasn’t able to obtain treatment because her house was right in the line of fire during the bombardment of Lugansk in the summer and fall of ’14. Time was lost, and all the evaluations said the case was hopeless. She remained home to die–there are lines to get into the hospice, people are laying in the corridors….((( She lost control over her legs and can no longer take care of her basic needs. We decided to try to make her life easier during her final days by finding money for a caregiver. But we also decided not to give in and try to talk to the doctors.
We spoke to the head of the cancer clinic and…

She’s now at the ward (it’s a miracle she was admitted) and is undergoing tests which will determine the type of chemo. I won’t lie–Lilya is past being curable. But the doctors said it might extend her life greatly if everything turns out well. She first has to raise her hemoglobin which is not simple to do.
It’s important Lilya keeps on living. She has a young son who is undergoing a difficult period. No father, no relatives to help them.
The boy would end up in a shelter, then an orphanage, he’d be all alone in a wartime Lugansk…What else is there to say?
But if Lilya lives for the next few years, these very important years in her son’s life, it will be an important accomplishment.

I want to thank everyone who sent money for Lilya. We are continuing our assistance, we bring medications, diapers, food, all of which she needs to raise hemoglobin. The family is broke.
We found a caregiver, she’ll start working soon. She’ll also take care of Lilya at the hospital. Cooking, feeding, washing. Zhenya and Lena spent a long time looking, one had to find someone who would not merely perform the functions but also someone to talk to. They will spent a lot of time together. That’s how it is.
Big thanks to everyone!
There’s one more key detail–Lilya is in the hospice for tests, the very same spot that was occupied by Ira where she was only a few months. We thought that’s a good sign. Ira was given a few months to live, but two years later she’s walking, taking care of herself, and living with her amazing daughters.

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

Please label any contributions intended for Lilya “Lilya”.


There is a truly wonderful place in the world. It’s Crimea.
It has sights that take your breath away. No matter how many times you’ve been there.
It’s impossible to become accustomed to such beauty. Eyes do not grow dull.
And if you haven’t been to Cape Fiolent, you haven’t seen Crimea.

Smirnov in Prison

Sometime ago a got a letter from someone.
Attachments included scanned hand-written notes from Aleksey who is now in the DPR pre-trial custody. The letter was intended for a narrow circle of people which, to my amazement, included me.
Aleksey Smirnov is the head of the Angel Battalion, which rendered aid to the civilians in border areas right from the start of the war. The battalion took thousands of people from under the shells, and saved tens if not hundreds of them from certaind eath.
On September 16, 2016, he and his friends were arrested and sent to the Ministry of State Security cells. Everyone but himself was since released. Right now he is in the Donetsk Pre-Trial Custody Center No. 5, and friends say they are afraid for his life for he’s a marked man.

Aleksey Smirnov. A photo from the internet.

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Morning. I’m running to class. IM: “Insulin urgently needed!” I have no clue what’s happening, so I call Zhenya.
–Got a call from Nikita’s mom. She was crying. She said they went to the clinic for insulin, AND THERE IS NONE. The boy has only enough for two more days of sots.
Do you know what it means for a diabetic to be without insulin? First your blood sugar jumps, and then coma.
Over the last year, insulin situation in LPR has seemingly improved, so nobody even suspected this might happen. Two months ago the doctor said there is enough insulin in all forms, whatever you need, you’ll get. And now this.
Mom is crying because there is no insulin. NONE. Not in pharmacies, and not for any amount of money. How this happened is another question. I’ve been getting such news from various parts of LPR. Nobody knows when it will become available. The boy can’t use just any kind, because otherwise we could have obtained something in Lugansk.
I finish my lecture and then I hurry to call everyone.
–Les’, will you buy? I can’t manage myself, but I’ll send you money!
Money is transferred, insulin procured. Lesya helps out once again, but it soon turns out she can’t take it to the Donbass.

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The Death of Arseniy Pavlov

When I read about Motorola’s death, my insides churned.
As they did a year and a half ago when we, after an accident, in the midst of fighting, were going to the Donbass with aid, and we got a call that Zhenya Ishchenko was killed. The acting mayor of Pervomaysk. Someone who would take unexploded shells out of the asphalt with his bare hands and who delivered bread to bomb shelters even as shells kept falling. Who personally dug up people from under the rubble. Several volunteers from Moscow were killed too, and everyone thought it was us.

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“Political Officer”

There is an unusual monument in one of the unrecognized Donbass Republics. It stands right by the border with Ukraine, where shelling is frequent. It’s scary to go there by car–nothing but shell-damaged trees and craters in the asphalt. The monument is based on one of the most powerful photographs of the Great Patriotic War–“Battalion Commander”. But, as it turned out later, the photo does not show a battalion commander but rather a political officer. The young, handsome officer raises his TT, and the soldiers rise off the ground behind him. The photo was taken only a few seconds before the hero’s death, near Lugansk, in the village of Khoroshee which was the site of a hard-fought battle.

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Diaper terrorism!

While I’m sitting here in Moscow, Zhenya is continuing diaper terrorism in LPR.
Just a few days ago he was cruelly and uncompromisingly distributing diapers to mothers with multiple children, and everyone who found themselves in dire straits in Lugansk.
This is our Lugansk Center of Social Services for the Family, Children, and Youth (as if anyone could remember such an unpronouncable combination)), where the distribution took place.
This is the father of little Anya, born in 2015, Roman Ivanov, born 1976. His wife is in a hospital, with cancer. We’ll soon write about her separately.

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Second Review

This is the second review of the “There are people here” manuscript. If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, my book (still not published) is being nominated for the National Bestseller award and the jury is currently selecting a “short list” out of the “long list.”
It’s not the most pleasant of reviews, what can I say.
My vainglory wanted to keep it hidden, but I am trying to fight it so here it is.
The review refers to me three times as a fragile girl. Interesting to know why? The reviewer never saw me, is that really in the book? Or it’s a play on the “war–fragile girl” antithesis–once upon a time there was a fragile girl, practically made of glass, and then she got up and went off to war(!), atta girl, we’re proud and grateful?
A long time ago when I became a judo sports master candidate and smothered strapping guys on the tatami, I recall thinking that nobody would think I was fragile. (Atta girl–we love and praise our Dunya). So is that the impression I leave?
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