“It will be enough for two months”

Lana married young. She went far away to live with her lover, got pregnant, but the beatings started almost immediately. It was so bad the girl ran off with her newborn to mother. The three of them have been living together ever since on the Pobedonosnaya St. in Lugansk. Those who spent 2014 in Lugansk know that in August artillery shells came in every day. Lana described how she saw “a woman torn in half” while waiting in line for water distribution.
There was no water, no electricity, no phone service. One could survive without many things, but not without bread and water. People came out of their apartments to get them, right under the shells.
I remember very well how the locals and Zhenya described August of that year at the time, shortly after these events. People could hardly bring themselves to talk about it. And if they did, only with trembling voices and flowing tears. Zhenya: “At that time, the ‘liberators’ were entertaining themselves by shooting at people who stood in line for water and bread, and where there was still phone service. Hundreds of people would meet there to send news to their relatives they were still alive. But the spotters worked there too.”
I remember how Zhenya told us about going to the roof to catch a phone connection to send a text message he’s still alive. There were no communications, but it was clear the city was under fire.

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“It was scary”

Lena visited our Seryozha. He was transferred from Intensive Care to an ordinary room.
He really scared us, the villain.
He’s joking and cursing, but good-naturedly, and of course he’s the main raconteur in the room. I have never met anyone who has known all the existing anecdotes in the world. I always collect them to surprise him. And it’s a rare case when he hasn’t heard something. He nearly always completes them after hearing two words. That’s how he entertains the whole room.
Only one nurse can get him out of bed. Seryozha always replies “I’m getting married, you’re mine!”
That’s his spirit.

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Seryozha, hang on!

Seryozha has had a heart attack.
He’s now in emergency care. He’s not allowed visitors, but his condition is stable.
We’ve been in phone contact. But to be honest, we’re in shock.
The doctors say it was most likely caused by the joint pain medication which he constantly takes. It turns out it may cause heart attacks and strokes…
I’m no doctor so can’t comment.
If only we knew…

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As of late, one can detect contempt toward our emigrants emanating from among the patriotic community. “Traitors”, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” I don’t find it pleasant to read, and I want to not only defend our people abroad but say that many of them are bigger patriots than people who put “Thank you Grandfather for the Victory” stickers on their cars, but at the same time behave rudely and don’t let pedestrians cross the road.
I’ve encountered that directly. I’m not talking about the rude individuals but Russian patriots in other countries.
There are many of them among my readers. And!
Many of them continually help the Donbass.
The majority of funds for the aid effort is coming from them, the inhabitants of Canada, USA, Australia, Germany, England, Austria, Norway, etc.
During these years, I’ve found lots of groups on facebook, LiveJournal, VK, where people cooperate, assemble truckloads of aid, and send it to the Donbass.
One can hardly imagine what it takes–organizing logistics into the unrecognized republics from abroad! It’s extremely complex, I know what I’m talking aobut.
They do it themselves, through foundations, through volunteers such as myself. And if you think they are former inhabitants of Lugansk and Donetsk regions, you are mistaken.
Many of them are from families which have never visited these places. And I am once again happy to witness all this and to be able to help.
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Shards of Death

On the photo is a shard from a shell that struck an apartment in Pervomaysk. It’s interesting that everyone has a different view on keeping what “flew in.” For example, Zhenya took all the fragments (and there were many of them in the garden and in the house) and threw them out. “No need to keep Death around the house.” Others collect them into neat piles. All these pieces of rusty iron. Yet others become superstitious and wish to forget about all that. Then there are people for whom parting with the shrapnel is like parting with a piece of their own body.
Some keep whole Grad “pipes.” We met many families in Novosvetlovka, Khryashchevatoye, Chernukhino, who out back have entire scrap yards of shell fragments that struck their homes. Many were hit many times. And you know, these people are more likely to keep than to throw out.
This fragment struck the apartment of the 96 year old Great Patriotic War veteran Nina Grigoryevna Mironenko.

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“Simply” Reunification

There has been a change of government in Lugansk. Kornet, Plotnitskiy.
I have nothing to say. Everyone is asking my opinion, but I am a little person, can I really influence anything?
But I will write about something that perhaps is not related to these events, but which bothers me personally. If there is a reunification, it would be a betrayal of the people of the Donbass.
Sometime ago I was told that “it will be better if they simply reunify, then it will all end.” You know, this is not even funny, because it’s obvious this reunification will not “simply” happen. Only on Facebook and on Ukraine Channel 1 things will be fine.
After three years of this, about every other family has ties to the Novorossia militia. Every other family has a “regime supporter”, people whom Kiev considers “criminal authorities”–officials, militia, firefighters, doctors, courts, village councils, utilities workers, etc. All of these people are working for the “regime” and from Kiev’s point of view they are “traitors” and are subject to being tried for “terrorism” and “separatism.” As do their relatives. Simple math–two thirds of the population would have to be arrested. Of course, they wouldn’t do that, that would be genocide, since, to the envy of Russia, Ukraine has become Europe. One has to save face, this is not Somalia after all. Therefore the “purification” will be more selective. A few public floggings, the rest will be taken care of behind the scenes. People will be disappeared and nobody will know anything about them. They don’t have Facebook accounts and therefore nobody will raise a stink.

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“How are things over there?”

After every trip to Lugansk I get asked: “how are things over there?” Well, let me tell you–as usual. In other words, bad.
In actuality, things are going this way and that way, and life goes on. Roads are better, many damaged buildings were rebuilt or restored. Some shattered schools or kindergartens were reopened. New shops and cafes are opening. It’s hard to imagine, but there’s nowhere to park downtown. These are good signs. Signs of life. And it would be dishonest for me to write there’s hunger, it’s horrible. Not, it’s not sheer horror. You can find expensive sausage, even caviar, as well as expensive imported cars.
There are people who can afford these delicacies and drive such cars. Those who can will rise to the surface in any situation. Such people only need to be given a hand to jump up and take-off running again.

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“Guys, thanks for the tank!”
That’s the message I recently got from our Seryozha Kutsenko.
He’s been traveling since morning till the evening, up and down all kinds of ramps and trails.
What can I say–last year, he’s been outside only a few times between October and end of April. Ramps are so steep that he couldn’t ascend them on his own. He’s embarrassed to ask the nurses, and they are not always available anyway.

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He just lay there

Gennadiy Vasilyevich became bedridden two years before the war. He stopped walking altogether. This is what happens to people with Parkinson’s. Motor skills gradually vanish, and the body forgets how to move. I have seen that in my family–the  individual moves less and less, and then completely stops. Then you spoon-feed him and turn him from side to side to prevent bed sores.
Gennadiy Vasilyevich lives in Pervomaysk, he has no relatives.
Or, rather, he does, but they live very, very far away.
And now imagine this is how the war found him. .

For Pervomaysk, the war until mid-’15 was constant hell.
Many forget about that. I do, too.
But then, in ’14, people live in bomb shelters and were hit by shells when going to the store, coming out of shelters to wash, to change clothes in their apartments. As soon as something distracted you, shells would come down around you. Hundreds of houses, of stairwells were wiped out.
Gennadiy Vasilyevich spent that whole time quietly laying in his apartment…The whole war, all these months.
His apartment had windows blown out, but that was normal. There isn’t a house in Pervomaysk that didn’t suffer in ’14. NOT A SINGLE HOUSE where I haven’t seen some damage.
The neighbors didn’t abandon him. They washed, fed, helped him…
He just lay there. And had no way of knowing whether his apartment would be hit or not.
So many tens of lives were carried away. Forever. Because they didn’t have the strength to make it to a bomb shelter. Because they were too old, because they were alone, because their legs couldn’t walk. No electricity, so no elevators, and many couldn’t even make it down two flights of stairs. How many such lonely elderly lived between heaven and earth?
Gennadiy Vasilyevich is still stuck to his bed. Social workers and neighbors are helping him survive.
May God grant them health.

Our humanitarian aid. Thanks to everyone who is pitching in!
The girl next to me is Olya, a social worker in Pervomaysk who is helping many people.
She also helps us help this city. Olya, thank you for everything1

If you want to help the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebookV Kontakte, or email: littlehirosima@gmail.com. Paypal address: littlehirosima@gmail.com.