Unwanted

My book was read by a girl whom we’re helping who lives in Lugansk. But she lived for a long time on UAF-controlled territory. She was forced to flee. Her letter is below the post.
I didn’t want to write some truth in my book so that someone would believe in something.
But sometimes I want to scream at everyone who writes that Russian forces are fighting against “unfortunate” Ukraine. WAKE UP!!! Nobody wants these people. Nobody!
Ukraine only wants the territory, land, and to hell with the people. Especially with some “separatists, whose own fault it all is”.
Putin? Does Putin need them? It’s clear he does not.
Inhabitants of LDPR are surviving and dying for the fifth year running. It’s no secret that getting Russian citizenship is a difficult procedure which not everyone can undertake. These people can’t normally settle in Russia. Hundreds, if not thousands, have returned and are continuing to return. Some, of course, got lucky, some got citizenship. I know such people. But there are far more who didn’t. Families with multiple children, with the disabled, single moms–where are they to go?
Unwanted. Therefore forced to struggle over there.

Most of the people “over there” live in HELL. They don’t even notice it themselves, they stopped seeing it. Even I, with my less frequent visits than before, have stopped noticing it. Much of it has become the norm for me. Restaurants, barber shops, sushi bars. HELL–it’s such a common word for internet users, but the most appropriate for explaining what’s happening there.
It’s not even the horror of shelling, bombing. It’s not as terrible as it was in ’14, when people were buried in gardens next to their apartment buildings.
The saddest part is HOW ordinary people there live.
Tiny salaries, miserly pensions, minimal benefits. Hard to find work, long waiting lists. No banking system, postal service. It’s possible to get these services, but it’s an ordeal. It’s impossible to obtain complex and powerful medications. We have to bend over backwards to get the drugs their lives depend on. It’s impossible to just go into the woods to pick mushroom or fishing even where there hasn’t been fighting for years–one can find a booby-trap, what does happen from time to time. People are isolated, but at the same time shop shelves are full. You can find anything you want! I’m angered by the opulence of supermarkets contrasting with the poor old ladies who can only buy half a loaf with their carefully hoarded rubles. You will say it’s the same in Russia? Oh no, if you think that, you haven’t been OVER THERE.
How did it happen that our people, people who speak the same language as we do, raised in the same cultural setting as we were, raised on the same books and films, are unwanted?

I want to be proven wrong…

The letter:
“I read your book from cover to cover with tears in my eyes…
It’s not just a book, it’s my soul’s pain! The wound has not healed…
It would be simpler to write something about the book, knowing the war is no more. The most terrifying part is that it continues, together with hundreds, thousands of stories just like those you’ve described, sad ones…And stories you haven’t heard of yeat…
It’s probably my tenth letter to you, I’m being torn apart inside by a wave of emotion…That which I lived through, that’s separate, that’s my story about which I can now speak coalmy, but reading stories of people and their tragedies, and some stories of people who are close to me which are pretty recent, my heart jumps out and I want to scream so that everyone would hear what is happening with people here…But most people who you think should know the truth, don’t accept it…They simply don’t want to hear it…
Right now the situation is very difficult, civilians in places I used to live are dying from shells, some are killed by landmines while on the way to repair power lines, some have serious illnesses and while they are being treated, their kids are simply chased out of the house without even the opportunity to take their things with them, and it’s continuing without end…There are places where people speak of war in past tense, but I can’t…
I think that it’s your first but not last book. The story of Donbass people still continues, but I hope that your next book will say the war is no more…
Thank you, our dearest. There is something in you that one can’t express with words…
May your book find its way to more than one bookshelf, may people pick it up and read it…”


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