Our People

Stop–don’t walk away from the screen!
We have good news and we want very much to tell you about some good people.
There is one family whom we’ve been helping for a long time.
Tiny family: grandmother and grand-daughter. That’s it.
The mother died in front of the girl in August ’14. It was an instant death, caused by shrapnel to the head. Natasha, the girl, didn’t say a word for a week, then stuttered for a year. Now the two live together. The girl has grown. Their lives are difficult.
I wrote about them in February, we collected money to fix up their water boiler and did fix it up.
But new problems appeared. The boiler broke down. Then we found another one.
Zhenya tells us: “When the new welder realized Natasha’s mom died and learned they live on grandma’s pension, he refused payment. ‘I also was under fire and saw how people lost their close ones. I have work, I can help, too.’
He worked without a break for 8 hours on his day off…”
It was an old, used boiler, but it was not used since the time it was bought. It was kept as a spare since 1989. So now our Natasha and Elena Vladimirovna are so warm that they can walk around in t-shirts at home. Before then, they had to sleep fully dressed under 1- blankets.
It’s a coal-fueled boiler, for which we bought coal to last until the end of the year.



Elya

The photo shows Albina who, with her younger sister Elya lives with her mother but without father in Lugansk.
Elya was born during Spring ’14, that very same spring. The girl has a problem with the jugular vein, the actual diagnosis is below, on the medical history extract. She constantly loses consciousness, has nosebleeds. The girl needs treatment. We are currently trying to figure out what options are available in Russia. There are no relevant specialists in LPR (
In theory, it is possible she’ll outgrow it.
But the problem does exist, and the mother currently has no money for the necessary evaluations which these days can be done only for money.
The mother, Anastasia, works as a nurse, with tiny salary.

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We have news

Remember Valera from Lugansk? The boy who, together with his brother, was abandoned by the mother who then disappeared?
The younger boy was taken to an orphanage, the older one has tried to survive on his own. We’ve been helping him since early fall. Food, clothes, money.
Remember?
Well, we have news.
Lena and Zhenya recently got ready to visit him, but his phone would just ring and ring. When they came, the apartment was locked. So they got in touch with his case workers.
Here’s where things stand.
The mother turned up, took the younger son from the orphanage, picked up Valera, and literally in one week they all left.


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We are a tank!

About four years ago I wrote in LiveJournal about collecting money to help the Donbass. I really didn’t want to do that–as soon as money is involved, people start talking about thieving. Over these four years, nearly every post from a vacation or following a purchase something, I read about how I steal from Donbass children. Incidentally, these accusations are posted by the same people who wish on these children. That’s how mixed up some people are.
Sometimes it was downright comical–I was accused of stealing in order to live in South Africa, where I did live long before the Maidan. I never answered these emanations in the comments, although, to be honest, it was very unpleasant to read them. Don’t write “forget about it”–know what that is. But one still cannot avoid unpleasant feelings.
I feel it is unnecessary to explain to people that I have a husband who has a decent salary and also supports the Donbass, it seems like making excuses. And explaining that I lose money due to my aid activities is pointless. I was more than once offered jobs which I had to turn down because I would not be able to continue this effort. So they’ve stopped. I can’t even go teach full time at a good university. I’m only an hourly instructor. And I love teaching.
My blog is visited every month by hundreds of thousands of people (not views, people). Hundreds of thousands! That’s nuts. And that’s for a blog on whose promotion I did not spend a single ruble and where I don’t even write every day. And, incidentally, the posts not about Donbass are far more popular than the posts about. Even considering that LiveJournal “is dying”, “is no longer the same”, I still have advertisers. I wrote about this many times, but no, not a single advertiser wants to have anything to do with politics, which is understandable. Especially with politics of someone whose name is on Ukraine’s Mirotvorets web site.

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Great-Grandmother

This is Galina Grigoryevna and her great-grandson Seryozha.
Great-grandson!
Just think about it. She is raising him.
His mother, her daughter, died in the fall.
Zhenya writes after a visit, delivering aid:
“Yulya died in November, five days short of Seryozha’s birthday. Her state worsened: fever, high blood pressure. Ambulance took her. A month of IVs, injections–things got better. Fever went away, blood pressure stabilized. She was discharged. Came home, in the morning things got worse. Ambulance came, gave her shots. She got better but still felt weak. In the evening she asked for some soup. Galina Grigoryevna cooked it, Yulya ate it with pleasure and…died. Her heart stopped. They didn’t even have time to call the emergency number. Three children were left behind…” The boy’s father died of kidney failure in 2012.
Seryozha is the same age as my daughter. His mother was a little older than me. Still very young.
How many such young people had passed away, due to heart attacks, strokes, other crises? And then the grandmothers have to pull the grandchildren along. How many such stories have you read here?
Is it hard to read? Hard to accept?
The grandmothers are doing everything within their power to prevent the kids from going to a shelter. To keep them home. With relatives.
Great-grandmothers, dear Lord!


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Deja vu. Kirill

Deja vu.
August 2015, Lugansk. Terrible heat, we’re carrying diapers and walking down a snow-white hospital corridor with covers over our feet. There is the tiny and beautiful Kirill in on a plastic bed in a room. Newly born, abandoned by his other. The ward lacks the necessary diapers. They asked us for help–we came.
Winter 2015. A call–there is a need for special formula for prematurely born babies. In a Lugansk hospital. Also diapers of the smallest size possible. Those which the ward does have are huge, the kids are lost in them. They have no other kind, and they are running out. The boy was prematurely born, an orphan, abandoned.
His name is Kirill.
Another Kirill…

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About “Another” World

When I was a teen, I thought I’d become an actress. I used to visit a theater studio and saw myself garner applause and tons of flowers and presents. Then I started to study philosophy, thinking theater and movies won’t go anywhere. Did I ever think, even for a second, I’d be writing about people with development difficulties? That I will collect money for them and buy scissors, glue, and gouache? Not literally, of course, but figuratively.
Not for a second. Such people did not exist in my life and I knew nothing of them. Not because I did not want to know, but because it didn’t happen that way. My life flowed in a different direction.
The first meeting took place during the winter of ’15, when I stood in the Krasnodon children’s home with candy packets and, sweating, tried to sort them into caramel- and jam-filled ones. It turned out many could not be served hard candy because they’d choke. We were brought to a children’s home but were not told of what kind. I thought it’s simply an orphanage. I was taken into a room with “difficult cases”. A few kids were barking, some were rocking from side to side, several were oblivious to everything, only drooled and looked past us. There were also kids with physical impairments, not mental ones.
I was in shock. And all of that was happening against the backdrop of war and an unbelievable adrenaline rush from the trips to the Donbass.
After that I have seen many children and adults with impairments. This is a big part of life which we do not see and of which we know nothing.
That’s how things are.
I periodically write about a club for people like that in Lugansk. It’s called Okay. You probably remember it.


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Seryozha and Vika

Information noise is driving me nuts. Approval ratings, Zelenskiy, Timoshenko. As soon as you start reading the newsfeed you want to stop forever. But here is something addictive in this senseless staring at the screen.
I lost the thread of the present. Senses are coming and going, leaving me in a confused state. All these news in my feed are mixed with posts about people dying at the border, another shelling, and more civilian deaths on the Donbass. Schizophrenia
But let me instead tell you about our Seryozha and Vika.
Seryozha is doing fine. One day at a time, no changes.
After the summer heart attack, we’re glad to be able to say “no changes”.
The retirement home is warm but boring. We try to think up something, but it’s not working.
People need to live at home, after all.


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But there are things we can do!

And old friend of mine recently confessed that he unsubscribed from me and can’t read me anymore. But I want to defend myself!
This blog is not all that pessimistic. I would even say that from time to time it promotes optimism. I write about the difficult lives of people, and that can’t be avoided. But we and our friends do more than write about it. We do a lot to make things better. And succeed only because someone reads those posts.
I can brag about all the good things we’ve done over the last four years. But it would be more correct to say that it would be better if we did not have anything to write about, and those we write about were leading normal, happy lives. Children and parents were alive, houses were whole, and everyone was healthy. But I can’t change that. I can’t resurrect, make whole again. I can’t end the war. There are many things which are beyond my control.
But we can do some things!
For example, such minor things as help Elena Vladimirovna and her granddaughter Natasha fix heating pipes.
A seemingly small thing, but when the whole family is freezing, sleeps fully clothed, and never leaves that one room, it’s not a small thing. Which moreover is financially beyond the family’s means.

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We found medications!

Hurrah!
We were successful!!!Now I’ll tell you everything.
In December I wrote a post about little Karina from Lugansk who needs a monthly treatment with cerebrokurin, which can’t be obtained in LPR. The girl needs it to live, and if she doesn’t get it regularly, she might be developmentally delayed.
It costs a lot of money and is unavailable in the Republics. It’s not easy to find it in Russia either, and it costs much more there than in Ukraine.
But we collected the money and ordered it in Ukraine. For Karina’s family that’s an insurmountable expense.
And now it was delivered!!! We can now breath easy, after this difficult and risky undertaking.
I won’t tell you all the details, because even getting it through LPR checkpoints is not simple.
What we bought will suffice for a whole year!!!!

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