On Life and Death

I wrote a big piece about the events in LPR, then erased it.
Too many emotions–I was remembering ’14, ’15.
It’s better I tell you about the Novosvetlovka hospice again.
This village was one of the most damaged during this war.
During the summer of ’14 it was nearly wiped off the surface of the earth. There was hard fighting. On every street there were many burned out tanks and APCs. Dozens of ruins where houses used to be. So many stories about marauders, about the locals whom the Aidar Battalion herded into the church. Many of the surviving houses were utterly looted.
The church, incidentally, has been restored. Many of the damaged homes were rebuilt too. Ukraine played no part in it at all, even though it still views this territory as its own but at the same time is refusing to pay even the pensions to people who for all these years worked and paid taxes into its budget.
The hospital’s maternity ward that was hit by many shells and in whose cellars many of the villagers were surviving, a hospice was opened in ’16. I write about it from time to time.

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Novosvetlovka Hospice

Three years ago, when I first visited this town, it had no hospice. Only a hospital that suffered from bombardments. A big, good hospital. It stayed open during the whole “war”. War? Yes, Novosvetlovka was bombed to bits during the summer of 2014. Those who were here know what happened. Even I saw, during the winter of 2014/15 a burned out APC or a tank on every street. Bunkers and destroyed homes everywhere. These were the first of the most awful sights I saw during the war on the Donbass.
Novosvetlovka.
With time, the damaged maternity ward was turned into a hospice. A place where people depart. We came here already several times with aid. They have noone else to turn to. We are de-facto the only people to help them. They currently have 28 patients. They get medications, but the rest…
Nothing has changed since our last visit. The biggest problem is with adult disposable diapers. Relatives bring them in some cases, but some patients have no relatives at all. Staff deals with the situation as best it can. But it is a problem. A big problem. Because the less often you change the diapers, the more skin problems. Bed sores, lesions…And corresponding odors…

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Where People Depart

Marina Anatolyevna seems like a young girl. We met her during the summer. At the time she was already in charge of the Novosvetlovka hospital hospice for six months. Bangs, thin arms, and eyes full of wonder.
In 2014, Novosvetlovka was just about wiped off the face of the Earth. But it wasn’t. It withstood the assault. Although its hospital was badly damaged, just like most of the homes, which became ruins. Some of the wards were closed altogether, including the maternity one. Many sat through the bombings in the hospital’s basement.
After a while, the hospital was renovated and new wards were op;ened.
Unfortunately, maternity was not one fo them.
Now it houses a hospice. It’s small–right now there are 25 people there. They put in charge a young doctor, Marina Anatolyevna Astakhova.
When I visited it during the summer, instead of this blue plate there was simply a piece of paper with typed letters.

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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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Amidst ruins

We have returned. To another reality. To another world.
In Moscow, there are restaurants, intact houses, shops full of stuff, but the absence of (sanctioned) prosciutto means it’s a disaster rea.
In the tiny Khryashchevatoye, out of 527 houses, 80 burned to the ground, 27 were completely destroyed by Grad rockets, howitzers, and mortars, down to their foundations, 77 are too badly damaged to warrant rebuilding. As to the remainder, they all lost their windows, as well as roofs and walls to some extent. 34 people were killed. In the neighboring Novosvetlovka, 600 wounded and 200 dead. There are burned-out tanks and APCs on every streets. And ruins, ruins, ruins….With people, children, life, amidst the ruins…
Read about that life.

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