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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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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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: Paypal address:

“Nobody needs us there”

Iosif Yuryevich has been disabled since childhood.
No family. No apartment. Or, already no apartment.
He’s from Pervomaysk. That same LPR Pervomaysk.
In August ’14 Yosif Yuryevich left for Kharkov.
He was in Ukraine until spring ’17.
Then he returned.
Returned to Pervomaysk, which is on the line of separation.
To the city on the very edges of continued fighting.

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Lidiya Yakovlevna’s War

Perhaps you recall this woman?
I wrote about her in May. Her name is Lidiya Yakovlevna. We visited her at home a year prior to that post.
Actually, not at home. She and her husband lived in a dorm–their apartment in Pervomaysk suffered from the shelling and became uninhabitable. The old lady can’t hear at all. Her husband took care of her. A year later we learned he became bedridden and then she started to take care of him. Her husband. It was a complete role reversal. She got renewed will to live and she once again began to walk, even though prior to that she hardly got out of bed…That’s when we took that photo.

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Day of Mourning

September 1, 2004.
On that day I was in Crimea. We were walking and drinking wine in the garden, toasting Chinese philosophy.
And then we suddenly heard “Beslan” from an adjacent garden.
My September 1 will never again be the same. With flowers and meeting of old friends.
On September 1, 2014, many Donbass children did not go to school. Many of them have not gone the whole year. Hundreds of children were hiding in the cellars, afraid to go outside. Some of them are now gone. Some? Many, rather. Not just those who were hurt by the shells. Also those who never got the insulin they needed, or an anti-seizure drug, or some other vitally needed medication.
Hundreds of kids became disabled for life–and not only those who lost limbs or suffered wounds. It’s the newly discovered diabetics, kids with constant headaches, nervous system pathologies, cancers. On the Donbass cancer discovered a “fountain of youth”, if that’s an appropriate phrase to use.
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Lidia Nikolayevna

Larisa Ovcharenko has been disabled since childhood.
On February 7, 2015, at 3pm, a shell hit her house in Kalinovo, near Pervomaysk. Her sister was killed on the spot. Larisa was hit by shrapnel all over the body, and she lost the ability to walk–her knee-cap was shattered. She had a tube in her lungs for a long time. 3 months of hospitalization.
When we visited her, she was seriously embarrassed and tried to turn away. But let us take photos.

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