Our Vika

We’ve been helping Vika for over three years now. We’re helping her and her mom. They live in Lugansk, LPR.
She has diabetes and lost her eyesight. Had TB. Lost a brother, also a diabetic.
That’s the short version.
Why did she lose her eyesight?
Sometime ago I wrote a post about how my nephew asked about her and her eyesight, why she lost it, I curtly replied “war”.
It’s probably the most accurate answer and it’s hard to add anything to it. Even though my posts about Vika are visited by the “all-knowing” who tell me the war had nothing to do with it, it’s Vika own fault and her mom’s too. That they inject insulin improperly, monitor blood sugar improperly, etc. I even stopped getting angry reading these comments. Although initially I would try, with shaking hands, explain how difficult it was to get insulin in LPR in ’14 and ’15. Explain what it’s like to live with no money and ability to buy even test strips. When you are alone, without a husband, with a bedridden mother, and your son is dying. When there is bombing, when you are sitting in a cellar. But I stopped.
You read a post about Vika about once a month on this blog. We’ve been through a lot in these three years. If you want to know more, click on the “Vika” tag at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading

Unwanted

My book was read by a girl whom we’re helping who lives in Lugansk. But she lived for a long time on UAF-controlled territory. She was forced to flee. Her letter is below the post.
I didn’t want to write some truth in my book so that someone would believe in something.
But sometimes I want to scream at everyone who writes that Russian forces are fighting against “unfortunate” Ukraine. WAKE UP!!! Nobody wants these people. Nobody!
Ukraine only wants the territory, land, and to hell with the people. Especially with some “separatists, whose own fault it all is”.
Putin? Does Putin need them? It’s clear he does not.
Inhabitants of LDPR are surviving and dying for the fifth year running. It’s no secret that getting Russian citizenship is a difficult procedure which not everyone can undertake. These people can’t normally settle in Russia. Hundreds, if not thousands, have returned and are continuing to return. Some, of course, got lucky, some got citizenship. I know such people. But there are far more who didn’t. Families with multiple children, with the disabled, single moms–where are they to go?
Unwanted. Therefore forced to struggle over there.

Continue reading

Viktoria–it means victory

My book about the Donbass was written during the 2015-16 winter. At that time we were busy taking Vika from Lugansk to Moscow to try to save her sight.
Vika was taken in by one of the best opthalmological wards in Moscow. The hospital at FMBA.
While Zhenya and I were driving around Moscow, Vika was smiling from ear to ear and listened to our descriptions of what we saw. We drove through the center, and Our Bellflower kept listening to the street noise. It was her first time in Moscow so she wanted to know every detail.

Continue reading

Presenting my book: “People Here”

Friends and readers!
My book about the Donbass, titled People Here, is finally coming out!
You will be able to see in bookstores or order online or download an electronic version in September.
I’m inviting all of you for the official presentation which will take place on September 6 at noon at the book fair at VDNKh.

Continue reading

A National Bestseller

I wrote a book. Somehow.
And in February Maria Arbatova nominated it for the National Bestseller award, and it is now on the long list. It was a total surprise for me. Maria Arbatova, the award, everythng.
It didn’t take me long to write it, but it was a struggle. It’s not very voluminous.
It’s about the Donbass, and it’s title is taken from one of my reports: “There are people here.”
Continue reading