Here is another post about our friends from Rubezhnoye. Who survived captivity in Ukraine.
How are things? It depends.
But the main thing that makes our team happy is that the boy, their son, now feels fine at last.
His fainting spells passed. As did the headaches.
They visited every conceivable doctor, including a dentist. I think it was not a matter of diagnosis and treatment.
The boy simply needed decent food which the family could not afford.
Calm and, of course, the parents who do not fear tomorrow…

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Their War

I must have started this post, erased it, and started over, at least ten times.
It’s hard to write things differently. So that people would notice and read.
It is…I don’t know…
These women are at war every day. Every day they are in their own trenches.
They fight, they struggle for every moment. With their kids, loved ones.
“Our girls”–that’s how Zhenya refers to them, irrespective of age.
Our girls have cancer. They live in Lugansk…They have their own war. They are at war…
We try to do everything we can in this situation. We try to help…
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Nellya’s War

I don’t know if you remember Nellya. We helped her with this and that–she appears in the general reports.
Face with sharp features, freckles, a tired gaze–one remembers that.
In ’14, right after the “ceasefire” her parents suffered a stroke. Both of them. They couldn’t take the horror of that summer and fall in Lugansk. What’s there to add? Those who were in Lugansk during those months know what it was like. No need to explain…No telephone service, no electricity, no water…Bombardment day and night, night and day….The city is encircled, impossible to leave it. You are being killed by Uragans, Grads, aerial bombs–the so-called “exploding air conditioners” of Ukrainian propaganda. The elderly, who lived through the Great Patriotic War, find it impossible to believe, and there is no way to explain it to them..

Nellya has been taking care of her parents ever since–they can’t take care of themselves…
The woman herself has a 9 year old daughter. Whom she’s raising without husband’s assistance. And she has to worry about her own parents…
Now she herself has developed problems…

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Helping Lugansk Kids

It’s been almost four years since Donbass started living in a new reality. At first, this reality was a horror that nobody could accept. Many locals couldn’t believe their fellow citizens were shooting at them. They couldn’t believe something like that was possible. Many left and reordered their lives.
Many since returned. And many others never left. Didn’t manage in time, weren’t able, had no place to go. It’s been four years, and life there goes on. It probably did not cease being a horror. At least to us, who don’t live there. But for those who DO, this horror is simply a given, it’s taken for granted. Life there is different but it does go on. With its own powerful rhythm. Lugansk has restaurants, supermarkets. In the evenings, people come out for strolls and the youth is populating boulevards, like everywhere else in the world. One can sometimes hear volleys and explosions from the outskirts. This is now background noise to which nobody pays attention. There are nightly battles along the separation line. But life goes on in the most direct sense of the word. Maternity wards are full.
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“It’s me, Seryozha, don’t be afraid!”

“Hello, Dunyasha! It’s me, Seryozha, don’t be afraid! Private Kutsenko!”
I was so stunned by the call that I fell silent for several seconds, forcing Seryozha to explain who was calling. But I recognized him right away.
–Seryozha, good to hear from you!
It turned out he also called our Moscow Zhenya. He spent most of his pension, half of which goes to the retirement home, on calling us.
How he misses us, and how sad he is when we leave him…

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Books for the kids!

We receive the most amazing variety of items intended for the Donbass. Since our volume-handling ability is limited, we try to focus on what the kids need. We sometimes get books. For example, I have a friend named Seryozha with whom I got acquainted through the aid effort. He’s helped us many times with buying and sending medications, wheelchairs, and much else. So, he’s been giving us at least a pair of books for kids before every one of our trips. During our most recent visit we brought books from various people. Zhenya recently donated them to the Lugansk children’s rehab center. I wrote many times about it–we bought wallpapers, paints, sometimes bring food and clothing.
Right now it has 34 kids. This center, where the kids may spend up to 9 months, then they are returned to their families or sent to orphanages. It’s a “buffer” for kids from vulnerable families. It has a large staff of psychologists and social workers.

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Helping Donbass kids go to school

A few days prior to September 1 were got thinking many people on the Donbass can’t afford to buy their kids anything for school. They simply have no money. Then I wrote a post and you know what? You and I turned out to be quite awesome.
We got in touch with the Lugansk Aid Center and coordinated the list of necessities. Thanks to the money you sent, we managed to prepare 22 kids for school. It’s not just pens, pencils, supplies, but even pen holders and backpacks.
Zhenya described the distribution thusly: “To be perfectly serious, several moms were crying since they had no idea how to buy these things, and the kids must go to school…”

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We’re a team!

Here’s a new batch of reports concerning recent aid efforts.
I somehow unnoticeably became the head of a fund for the aid to the people of Donbass.
Sometimes that scares me. I always thought of myself as a nymph with a monofin, not an old lady who’s always something regulating and helping someone. The nymph could carry on about Bertrand Russel, but balancing expenditures on ledgers–that was rather a nightmare. But it’s no big deal–a few taps on the keyboard, and both Hegel and Kant are defeated.
All of our aid is possible not only because there is a blog which shows a photo of me half-bald with a bottle of port.
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Ira and Tanya

I really don’t like the word “wards”, but how else should one call the people we help?
There are many people whom we help constantly and since long ago. Among them are cancer sufferers. Those are the most difficult cases. Helping the doomed. The number of those who are already gone is unfortunately large. But in each case we keep faith and hope.
This is Ira and Tanya.
Both are fighting. And I have faith in them.
Ira is very young. She’s so beautiful, so bright, so kind…I recently wrote about her–she’s had major improvements, even could walk again. Without a walker or cane. But her temperature has increased again, and it turned out she’s suffering from a major relapse with metastasis. Again time for Chemo.
She needed a medication to increase hemoglobin. Thanks to those who sent money for Ira, and a separate thanks to my friend who helped find the preparation at a reasonable price.
Just look at this beauty! How can this be?

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The Real Deal

The top floor of the dorm. A tiny room full of beds.
A slender boy with welts under his eyes, wizened woman with a straight back and beautiful hair, and the unbearably thin Vitaliy, holding a napkin to his mouth
–May I hug you?
That’s the first thing I heard Natasha say when we met.
We had a long conversation.
It defies description.
It defies transmission.

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