“Authorized Personnel Only”

This is intensive care unit of Lugansk’s City Hospital No. 1. It saves people’s lives around the clock. I wrote about doctors so many times that I don’t want to repeat myself. But how can I not, when we know what they have done during the worst shellings of 2014. When there was no electricity, no communications, and the shelling was constant. They went back and forth, constantly risking their lives. They went where they were needed, even though there were no communications.
And now they go out to save people even during curfews.
Heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure–that’s what plagues the people of the Donbass. What can one say, considering the level of stress there?
Very many doctors have left, which is understandable. But those who remained are genuine heroes. Many did not leave because they couldn’t. They couldn’t abandon their patients. They felt they were needed. They worked practically without pay in 2014-15, and even today the less is said about their salaries, the better…

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Hospice on the line of fire

It was quiet in Kalinovo. Even though today is the lottery.
The village is long–I’ve never seen anything like it–27 kilometers. From Pervomaysk to Bryanka. More than half-marathon. Except it’s impossible even hypothetically because shelling is a daily occurrence. It’s been like this for three years. We forgot, we can’t believe, it seems vague to us, we push it out of our thoughts. Even among LPR inhabitants there are those who don’t know what happens on the line of contact. The media don’t draw attention to it, and people simply stopped paying attention.
Kalinovo has its own hospice. That’s where we went.

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Helping Lugansk Children’s Intensive Care

You and I are so awesome!)
And, most of all, quick to respond, no???!!!
To make long story short, we not only collected the money, but bought everything that was needed and delivered it!
The washing machine for the children’s section of Lugansk Hospital intensive care.
How I love this photo. I love it a lot!)))

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Shall we help children’s intensive care?

On the photo, the director of children’s regional intensive care in Lugansk.
It is he who saved Kolya Siluanov whom we sent, thanks to Liza Glinka, to Moscow for treatment.
Nearly the whole staff remained at their posts during the bombardment of Lugansk in 2014. They worked without pay for over six months. It was not simply difficult to get to work. It was life-threatening. Everyone who was in the city then knows what was going on. The city was closed, and many were not able to leave. They didn’t realize a real war just broke out and they will be targets. For aircraft, heavy artillery. People hid in cellars and were afraid to come out. The city was hit every day, with precision. Homes, schools, hospitals. People were being killed off.
No communications, no power. Nothing was working. I wrote about it a million times but I never tire of it.
These people remained and saved the kids.
The director turned to us for help.

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Kolya and Moscow Passions

The situation with Kolya Sipunov, whom Liza Glinka helped bring out of the Donbass prior to her death remains complex. The most important thing is that the boy had a surgery in Moscow, was transferred to another hospital, and is now in rehab.
It’s a complex situation, but most importantly, he’s alive and his chances are good.
However, his thieving mother managed to live up to her reputation again, as was expected.
I haven’t been able to visit Kolya myself for a long time, and not because I don’t want to see his mother Katya who robbed me and nearly brought about her son’s death.
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Lugansk Children’s Intensive Care Unit

There are all kinds of doctors. Bad, talented, middling, attentive. They are all human, they all make mistakes, get tired, and have the right to err. But doctors who stayed in a wartime city under bombardment–and many were in a position to leave–are a special category. Nobody will write about them anywhere. They won’t get medals. You won’t read about them in the papers. They were only doing their job, after all. But…
I remember February 2015, when we visited the Pervomaysk hospital. We got there almost immediately after a bombardment–6 six direct hits on various units, including the pediatric one. I will never forget one thin fellow, a surgeon named Artyom. Who lived in the hospital even as the city was being shot to pieces. He slept in his own office until he got tired of it and moved to the cellar: “If it’s my fate to die, I’ll be killed while on a smoke break.” I also remember how, his face glowing, he operated on a hernia a few days earlier. We were with the head doctor and he, like a child, was telling us excitedly that “it was an ordinary hernia!”. As opposed to a shrapnel wound of which there were hundreds.
I remember the director of the Gorlovka hospice Nikolai Nikolayevich who, looking past us, described how hundreds of people streamed out of Debaltsevo and, due to the lack of electricity or water, they had to cook on bonfires, wash sheets by hand, and pump water out of the bomb shelter…
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Instead of a maternity ward, a hospice

There was a large maternity ward in the Novosvetlovka hospital. It was destroyed during the war in the summer of 2014. Other wards, including therapy and infection treatment, also suffered. Novosvetlovka was wiped off the face of the Earth. Whole streets turned into ruins. When I visited there the first time, every street had several burned out tanks and APCs.
The hospital has been reconstructed, but instead of the maternity ward, there is a hospice.

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To treat everyone

People often write me about the Donbass: “They have hospitals there? Alrighty, then!”, implying that it’s the Chernobyl Zone where there is nobody left except for the truly stubborn, plus the elderly and the disabled. Though the latter ones often get forgotten, too. In reality, both Lugansk and Donetsk have active hospitals, clinics, labs, and other medical facilities. The hospitals are overflowing with patients–there are more people suffering from high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks. Maternity wards are as full as they were before the war.
There is also a cancer ward in the Lugansk Republican Hospital, the only one which provides radiation treatment in the region. People come here even from the Ukrainian side of the border.

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Wanted: Wheelchairs

Today I spoke with the Lugansk Zhenya.
Here’s what he said:
“I got a phone call from the Lugansk oncology center radiotherapy department director.
The department is in the same building as the hospice where our Katya spent her last days (Zhenya and Lena helped them through volunteers this past summer. Katya, alas, died).
The department receives post-operation patients who can’t walk on their own. Nurses move them on wheelchairs or gurneys. But the last gurney broke before the war and the last wheelchair is also falling apart.

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I had a terrible dream over the weekend. One of those that forces you to cry and wakes you up because your tears are suffocating you and you can’t stop. In the dream, I saw corpses at my home. I am always lost without relatively psychoanalytical and magical explanations.
Elena Balanova called me yesterday.
Her brother, an outstanding cardiologist from Lugansk, had died.
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