Thank you

This is another in a series of reports on people who are under our ongoing care.
Thank you everyone who, in spite of the summer and vacations, is continuing to help the people of the Donbass. Sometimes I’m at a loss for words to express my gratitude for your trust and caring. Nearly every time people respond me with letters which ask me not to thank them. Please allow me that.
It’s very pleasant to “give thanks.” To be sure, one may consider “thank you” to be flattery, but I really want to hug you all.
And now about our people.

Lyubov Mikhailovna is the grandmother of Timur and Elisey. No parents–the mom ran off at the beginning of the war and hasn’t been heard from since. They live off grandma’s pension, there’s no other income. She is disabled due to diabetes and blood pressure problems. She can’t get child benefits since the kids officially have a mother.
To read more about this family, click on the Timur and Elisey tag at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading

On Top of a Volcano

Vergunka, one of Lugansk’s regions, was recently hit. It suffered a lot in 2014, and it’s right next to the line of contact. People live there as if on top of a volcano. And they know more shells can come at any moment.
You know well about Vergunka from my reports, it’s where Ira lives, whom we’ve been helping for a long time.
Ira is a single mom who was abandoned in the midst of pregnancy by her husband during the shelling of ’14. She then gave birth, then restored the house which suffered from shelling. Fixed walls, roof, without any water or electricity, and with an infant to take care of. While Ira was hiding from the shells from Lugansk (which was also shelled, but where else was she to go while pregnant?), her house was totally looted, everything was taken out down to forks and spoons.
We’ve been helping Ira with food, medications, pots and pans, clothing.
Brought a computer for her daughter, then collected money in the winter for a gas water heater. Ira has it very hard, she’s alone and has two kids. She works as a clerk in a store, 10-12 hours a day, and the older sister takes care of Vovka. The days off are spent in the garden and on housekeeping. She earns 5,000 rubles a month, which is not the worst salary given Lugansk conditions.
But now Ira begun to have health problems.

Look at how big Vovka is!

Ira has psoriasis. We brought her medications but they aren’t helping much. It’s clear it’s stress-induced, and she’s also discovered a gluten allergy and gastrointestinal atony. Drugs don’t help. Many of our friends have had similar problems which have led to surgeries. By all accounts, she needs to be in a hospital but what to do with the kids? And one can’t put this off, such problems may turn out to be serious if ignored. She needs analyses, but they cost money. She has no money, she’s afraid to lose work because someone else would instantly be hired in her place. Unfortunately, the conditions there are harsh, there’s even a waiting list of people willing to take her job. Jobs in the Republics are scarce these days (((
Ira has not asked us for help herself. We find everything after the fact, when we drop in with food parcels. She always promises to call but has never done so. “It’s awkward for me, there are probably others who need it more.” She returned nearly all the children’s clothes we brought when their kids outgrew them: “I washed them all, they are in good condition. Someone else could definitely use them”…


Our aid. Thanks to all who participate!
Please label all donations for Ira “Ira”.

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

Lena and Roma

This is what happiness looks like. This is what a happy family looks like.
That’s what Lena’s family was like until 2014…
Lena buried Roma right in the garden, among exploding shells, tears, paralyzing fear, and incomprehension of what was happening.
August 19 was hot for Vergunka, a small, long-suffering village on the outskirts of Lugansk.


Continue reading

In Vergunka

Good news from Vergunka, near Lugansk. It’s a major source of joy, even though we are a bit late reporting it, but we found out about it only recently. The village now has water. For the first time since 2014! People had to carry it in buckets–that’s how laundry, washing, cooking, gardening was done.
That’s how it was.
Ira, who’s raising two kids by herself, lives there. The husband left to look for work at the start of the war and vanished. Abandoned them.
Ira was pregnant, in the last trimester. When Vergunka was shelled she escaped tot he city. The village was right on the line, half the street was leveled. Ira’s house was badly damaged too. The roof caved in, walls collapsed. When she returned, “everything has been looted, down to the spoons and dishrags.”

Ira’s children: Vika and Vovka.

Continue reading

“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.

Continue reading

Right Next To War

This is the Denisov family from Vergunka whom we have been helping for over a year.
Ira is a mother of two but is raising them alone. The husband left to earn money during the shelling and vanished.
They managed to get only as far as Lugansk when their village was shelled. Vergunka is actually not really a village but rather a region, or even an outskirt of Lugansk itself.
It is right on the border of where the UAF are.
You always hear gunfire there. And even though in Lugansk one can hear only the heavy artillery, that’s not the case in Vergunka.
They live right next to war.
Recently a drone was shot down there.

Continue reading

Our Ira

This is our Ira from Vergunka, near Lugansk.
Remember her?
Ira is raising two kids by herself. The husband ran off during the war. While the younger son Vovka was still in her belly.
He left Lugansk to earn money and vanished.
During the 2014 bombing, Vergunka was hit hard.
Irina’s house survived, though some of the walls and ceilings crumbled.

Continue reading

Such are our women

In LPR, there’s the Vergunka district, right on the front line.
For them, the sound of a cannonade is about what the sound of car engines is to us. Still.
When you talk to the locals about Minsk Agreements, they laugh.
Water is issued only twice a week, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, though at least it is available during the whole day.
–The Nazis destroyed the water system, they are, after all, right across the Donets. Just recently there was no water supply for two weeks, we had to carry it with our own hands from a neighbor’s well.


Continue reading

About the best and the rest

Last summer we met this young guy, Lyosha, at the retirement home. The lower part of his body is paralyzed and, since he lived alone, could not take care of himself. So already before the war he was admitted to the retirement home in Rovenki. We were shocked when we met him. He seemed like a space alien in this place. He was surrounded by the elderly with dementia, and the whole building exuded a whole odor of urine. I didn’t know until then that adult disabled older than 18 who can’t be independent and who have no relatives capable of helping them are sent to such institutions. Already then I decided to get Lyosha a computer. The readers donated three of them! Three! We brought one to Lyosha, another we gave to Vova whose mom died of cancer. The third, a Mac from our Zhenya Birman, waited and waited. We couldn’t find a suitable recipient. Until we met Ira’s family from Vergunka.
It’s impossible not to smile, right?

Continue reading