Why did they stay?

One angry lady showed up in the comments section last night. She wrote two harsh comments stating that she and her three kids left the war zone, lives in Russia, is really struggling, but at least her kids don’t know what war is. The post concerned collecting aid for New Year festivities. The woman wrote that nobody brings her presents, which means those who stayed there did so because it’s beneficial to them, and that makes her very angry. They are there to collect aid.
I’ll say this–yes, we have seen people like that in ’14. Alas, they did exist. I remember one woman in Pervomaysk who did not want to leave the bomb shelter even though heavy shelling stopped a long time ago. She did not want to leave because journalists and volunteers were showing up by the hundreds. They brought food, clothing, medications. Just sit and take. But listen–it’s been five years since that time. Yes, sometimes humanitarian aid does arrive, but that’s not enough to live on. Nobody’s been living in bomb shelters for a long time, the war has moved into a new phase. No, that phase is no better or worse, it’s just different. Unruly, protracted.
The aid from our convoys is meant mainly for hospitals, kindergartens, retirement homes, dormitories, other institutions. This is real aid. They bring equipment, special preparations, insulin, and much else needed for people to live. But to say that people find it convenient to stay in the warzone is just funny. Salaries, pensions, benefits in the Republics are tiny. Life there is very difficult. It’s hard to find work, pay is low. And there’s the war. Leaving now is not like leaving in ’14 when there were refugee processing centers and many programs assisting in restarting one’s life. Now it’s a multi-layered hell where the problem is not only the institutions but even the question of where to turn to. Even with one kid it’s a problem, and what do you do when you have three? And what about single moms, elderly, disabled, bedridden? What are they to do?
The lady was very angry, but her pain and the difficulty of her situation were plainly felt. She removed her comments after some time. But I can say that I constantly encounter such opinions concerning those who remained among those who have left, and also among Russians. Very many condemn those who live there. And I always answer the same–you have no idea what you would have done yourselves in that situation.
My friend from Lugansk did not leave because her parents absolutely refused to leave their land and she couldn’t leave them. Everyone has their own pain and own reasons. It’s seemingly obvious, but apparently, not entirely since people are constantly making similar comments.
That’s how tit is.
Friends, thanks to all who continue to help our team in helping people of the Donbass. In this post there is a report on medications for two people who are really struggling.
Did they have an opportunity to leave? Why did they stay? I don’t think it’s for us or that lady to judge. But I know that anyone can find themselves in a tough spot. Anyone at all.
And I’m glad we can help them somehow.

Continue reading

Irina Aleksandrovna

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.

Continue reading

Our Redheads

These two cute sunny redheads lost their mom. Their father abandoned them some time before that. Or, rather, he threw out his wife together with the children, and she was forced to go home, to Lugansk. Yes, to LPR. Elena Mikhailovna, the grandma with whom the children live, doesn’t exactly know what happened. And she’ll hardly ever find out. Her daughter’s heart stopped.
I wrote about the redheads back in July.
Friends, thank you for responding to my post!
In general, it is pleasant to write posts like today’s one. Of course. In the sense that it’s a post about how things are on a mend. With your help and ours. Therefore click, scroll, and smile when reading such posts. It’s impossible not to smile when looking at such kids. Just look!
Since the July 11 post, Lena and Zhenya visited them three times and brought aid (photos below).
Food, toys, books. Also money–11 thousand rubles to fix the boiler.

Continue reading

Our Lone Grandmas

A small fact gleaned from observing social media and public opinion.
Nearly all my stories about deaths of people we cared for or scandals, like the story of rape attempt of Vika from Vergunka, usually get several tens of thousands of views. But nearly all the texts about how we painstakingly and constantly help people from Donbass get, as a maximum–several hundred, or many even several tens, but definitely not thousands.
That’s how things are.
I know it’s hype. I realize that’s human nature. I understand everything.
But that’s why I don’t give up. Because even though that’s human nature, which needs scandals and blood, a group of people coalesced around me (that’s you, folks)))) which has such big hearts that all of these views lose importance. One and the same set of people keeps sending money. Month after month. Quietly, without letters, we’re simply getting aid. Retirees, students, grown men, fathers of many children, single moms, young girls. Whatever they can.
A single post like this is the result of tremendous effort by many people. It’s not only about our Lena and Zhenya who work miracles while living there, in Lugansk. It’s also about the long chain of caring, love, and kindness of many, many people.
All of these tiny streams transform into big help for many people.
I wrote many times–believe me, it’s not about the packets of food and medications which our team brings the needy. The problem lies in that these people have nobody else to help them. Many of them lost their loved ones. They face unimaginable struggles and they have no option but to survive.
I won’t even mention the fact they live in a war zone.
But now they have us. They know it. It’s tears without end.
Not only of sadness but of joy and gratitude.
How one wants these tears would go away. Reasons for them would go away. But we’re powerless to do the impossible. But we can do that which is within our power. “Do what you can.” So we try.
As best we can.

This post is dedicated to one of the least protected categories of people under our care. We call them “lone grandmas”.
Scroll through the photos. Look at them.
You’ve been observing many families for years. And I repeat the same words month after month.
But…please read, look. I’m asking you.
I also always remind you that if you want to help these families, please label your contributions “grandmas”. Incidentally, likes, comments, reposts all help a great deal too.
Thank you! Thank you for your aid and caring! It gives strength not only to these people, but to all of us. To me.
Thank you for being there. Please forgive me for repeating the same things over and over.
But still–it’s such joy to know you, even if in absentia (though many in person, too).
In hoc signo vinces!

Our Lyubov Mikhailovna with grandkids, Timur and Elisey. She raises them alone. Thank God the unfit mother was deprived of custody by courts (hurrah, since the spring LPR courts have started dealing with civil cases!). But she can’t get custody for herself. Either the judge is on leave, or the assistant “forgot” to deliver the right documents. Which means she has to get all the papers together again in order for her to get child care benefits. They live only off her pension. Lyubov has many health problems, including diabetes.
We’ve recently brought her medications.


Zhenya usually starts such stories with the heavy words “our troop has grown”. But I don’t know how to begin them.
I don’t know where to start describing a story of how and why we began helping the family.
This is yet another grandma with grandkids…
On the photos you see Elena Mikhailovna with Sasha and Marisha. Two redheads.
Two funny children who lived through the worst kids can experience at such age.
They lost their mother.

Continue reading

The Power of Internet!

Many got weary of my posts.
Fed up with reading them.
How much can one take?
I myself got tired of writing them.
But it’s not simply “how much can one take?” but “how much is needed”–a lot is needed, a lot.
The war’s in its sixth year.
Those who were infants when the first bombardments began will soon go to school. In the border areas, kids no longer even react to shelling but continue to play in the trenches.
And…information continues to flow.
For yet another time, I want to say that reposts work. Even simple likes work.
Very, very much.
And thanks to all those who, in spite of fatigue, don’t stop liking and reposting.
On more than one occasion, relatives were able to locate their family members from my posts.
And today I want to tell you one of these stories.

Do you remember Irina Grigoryevna? She came from Russia before the war (she lived in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy) to visit daughter and grandson in Lugansk. Then the war started. Son in law died in a bombardment in August 2014 in Lugansk. The wife howled when she recognized the corpse. It is then that she withdrew into herself. They say “she lost her mind” and has been in a clinic ever since.
The grandmother was left alone with the grandson. She lost her documents during the shelling. Or maybe they were stolen–nobody knows.
She couldn’t return to Russia without documents, or obtain new documents.
So she couldn’t draw retirement or benefits.

Continue reading

A gift for Taisiya Pavlovna

Since we’re on a streak of good news, I will, with your permission, extend it.
We have us a Taisiya Pavlovna.
Our “grandma”, raising a grandson on her own. The daughter was struck down right in front of her son during the summer of ’14. A shell fragment cut through her stomach, intestines, liver. The Lugansk hospital performed an emergency surgery as best they could, without electricity, in extreme heat. Such were the times. The summer of 2014 was very bloody for Lugansk. The city was besieged, and was being destroyed using all types of weapons, including aircraft. There was no phone service, water, electricity, food, pharmacies were empty. People couldn’t understand what was happening.
Sasha’s mom lived for two more years after that wound. Two years of suffering and constant pain, before expiring.
Sasha was left alone with his grandma. No, that’s not right. They had each other.
We’ve been helping them for years. Last year Taisiya survived two strokes. Thank goodness she survived and recovered.
Taisiya Pavlovna has a whole range of ailments, including hypertension and diabetes. She and Sasha live on 3200 rubles a month, plus our aid. I can’t imagine how one can live on such income. The boy is growing, goes to school, there are utilities, medications…
This information is for those who doesn’t know anything about Taisiya Pavlovna.
And now I will say more. There is an amazing person among us. Boris from Kazan. Remember him? You should!
Yes, he’s the one who bought the boiler for our sisters, and brought cigars from Cuba for Seryozha Kutsenko. He’s also helped a lot others as well. Boris is a young geophysicist, with merry young sons. Boris, I didn’t say too much, did I?

Continue reading

Lone Grandmas

I wrote a huge post about Zelensky and the elections. I gritted my teeth, got angry and, as always, erased it.
To hell with them all…
Instead I’ll write about the lone grandmas in Lugansk whom we are helping. Because nobody else will. You know, there are many such lone, ill, helpless people on the Donbass. Who never had children or whose children died. Or left and don’t remember, or are struggling themselves and can’t help…
In some cases relatives turned away because “it’s their own fault”, and yet others simply lost contact. Elderly don’t cope well with information technologies.
So you are alone, elderly, with a microscopic pension, with jumping blood pressure, heavy legs, and constant stresses. Some started to work together in order to help each other. Please read…
Many stopped calling emergency numbers when the health sharply deteriorates. “What for? They’ll prescribe medications for which there’s no money”. Tiny pensions, thousands of aches and pains, and on top of that the war. Nearly all of them lived through the shelling and sat in the cellars in the fall of 2014, when the city was pounded by all types of artillery. I won’t describe for the hundredth time what it means to quickly evacuate oneself under fire. Many are simply not physically capable of doing that, so they remain in the apartment, frozen in expectation–“will it hit, or not”? Nobody should have to experience that.
I’m having a first-rate deja-vu right now.
It seems like I’ve written posts with this text before.
Well, let there be one more.
Perhaps someone who hasn’t read them will read this one…
Here’s what I want to say.
We have been constantly buying medications for them, and some of them are alive only because you contribute to this aid effort. We try to also help with food, but don’t always have the means to do so ((
Friends, it’s really difficult for them without your help.
I don’t know about all of these politicians, but I do know these lone women need medications. More food would not be bad, either.
Please label your contributions “grandmas”

Continue reading