Learning to hear. Help is needed!

Rodion is a boy from Lugansk who was born deaf. He turned 3 in November. And thank God he was able to undergo cochlear implantation on both ears by that age. The first ear was implanted in Moscow last spring, the second in September, in Kiev. The implants will eventually allow him to hear.
As you know, we helped organize the Moscow part. Thanks to Irina Bednova, the implant was done for FREE. Thanks to you, we were able to help the family with money for the trip, stay, medications, etc. In Kiev the operation was also free of charge, and thank God that’s how it turned out.
But now there’s this situation.
The operation was only one stage. The rest consist of tuning the apparatus and conducting exercises. We’ve managed to deal with the latter. There is a clinic in Rostov, MasterSlukh, which now works with the boy. Rodion made several visits and had intensive exercises with their specialists. They tuned the Moscow implant and worked with the boy. And, most importantly, taught the mom how to work with Rodion and how to have exercises with him. Big thanks to physicians, educators, and hearing specialists who are helping Anya (mom) and Rodion!

Continue reading

New Year on the Donbass

Isn’t it too soon? If anything, it’s too late. Well, not entirely, of course.
Friends, since 2014 we have been providing New Year’s greetings for people who live in the war zone. At first it was all very chaotic–someone collected presents, brought them to me, someone bought gift sets and also brought them to my home. We then drove with it from Moscow and other cities to LPR/DPR and distributed among the children.
After that we started to look after not only after the kids but also adults–in hospices, retirement homes. I recall how in January ’15 we simply gave toys to all the kids we met in the grey zones–where there’s still fighting. There weren’t many kids, but I remember nearly all of their faces…I was so scared then–there was constant roar of incoming and outgoing shells. It was noisy the whole time, and the children already back then, five years ago, were so used to it that they did not react to explosions…

Rodion is in Moscow!

Rodion arrived in Moscow from Lugansk on April 15 in order to undergo a very complex and expensive operation–a cochlear implant.
Rodion is 2.5 years old and was born deaf. This is a costly procedure which entails implanting a hearing device. The sooner it’s done, the more likely the implant is to be accepted, and the boy regaining his hearing.
Thanks to our Irina Bednova, the boy will have this operation for free.
Unfortunately, for objective reasons, we were not able to admit him yesterday. Not all the analyses and mother’s information came in. We had to pay for some additional tests instead.

Continue reading

Badly Needed: Coal and Firewood

Olya and Lena are single moms. They are both barely surviving.
They lived through the bombing of Lugansk in the city itself, sitting in cellars. Now they live in a place which is scarcely fit to live…
They both await the coming of winter with horror.
During the summer of 2014, Olya was pregnant and already had a three-year-old boy. Her house was badly damaged, only a wing remained where she lives with her two sons. No plumbing, no gas, she heats the shed using wood she collects. It’s hard to collect enough wood, but there are no other options.
The father disappeared already in 2014. He’s unlikely to be among the living.

Younger son Ilya

Only one room is habitable, and that’s the one they heat.

The entryway. You can see how things are from the photos. They really need coal and firewood. They don’t have enough money to keep up with the heating. They barely have enough for food and clothing.

These are Lena’s sons. There is also an older daughter who studies at a college to become a nutritionist.
They all live together in that wing which is better than Olya’s, but still…
Before the war she and her husband rented an apartment. When the fighting began, the husband vanished. Or, rather, simply dumped them. Lena was forced to find whatever place to live she could.
Same situation with heat as with Olya–coal and wood are needed. They all but use furniture for fuel, and this is a big problem for the family.

Vova and Misha

Lena works, but she has to raise three kids alone.
They barely have enough money, with benefits and all. But not enough for firewood during winter. They economize on everything possible. Zhenya said that when he brought food, the kids devoured it with their eyes. It was clear there was nothing at home.
Both families need a total of two tons of coal and a few cubic meters of wood. A ton of coal costs around 4 thousand rubles. Wood is cheaper, about 1500 per meter. Plus delivery costs.
Shall we help Olya and Lena survive this winter?
Yet another winter which is a quest for survival, because they heat with whatever they can find. They freeze, they sleep fully dressed, under ten blankets.
Please label your contributions “firewood”.

Thank you, friends, for your caring!

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.

Please label contributions for these families “firewood”.

Shall we help the hospice?

There is a hospice in Novosvetlovka. Those who followed the Donbass events of 2014 know this village well. It was a site of heavy fighting. Whole streets became ruins. There are masses of burned out military vehicles, I saw them myself during my first humanitarian aid visits to LPR. After 2014, the village has struggled without electricity or water. It has been gradually restored.
And so was the hospital, which has not shut down for even a minute. Many people found shelter in its cellars.
But the maternity ward was closed, and later a hospice was opened in its place.
Continue reading


Perhaps I’ll tell you about some heroes?
For example, Katya.
She, her two brothers, and a sister with parents are from Voluyskoye, a village currently occupied by the Ukrainian military. During the 2014 offensive their house was destroyed, they survived by a miracle and ran to Russia, to a village near Nizhnyy Novgorod. They found a place there and in general their life returned to normal. The father got a job. Children were studying. But in 2017, at night, their house caught fire due to bad wiring.
It was a miracle Katya woke up. She herself dragged everyone out of the house, they were already unconscious.
She saved five people! This girl here, too embarrassed to look into the camera and pose.

Continue reading

Hospital again

Taisiya Ivanovna is once again in hospital.
She was taken there right from the neuro-pathologist’s office, where she was on a routine visit after the stroke. Her right side started to go numb. So she was taken straight from the office to the hospital ward in the midst of an episode. More medications, more tests.
She’ll be there for two weeks, then the doctors will decide. Our Zhenya persuaded the doctor who saved him and Lena in 2016 to look to Taisiya. You remember, I wrote back then the two of them found themselves at the hospital practically at the same time.
We started to help Taisiya and her grandson only recently. Sasha’s mom and Taisiya’s daughter died from a shell fragment which cut open her belly right in front of the boy. She was hit in 2014, but she suffered for two more years with mangled stomach and intestines which the surgeons had to put back together in primitive conditions at the hospital with no electricity.

Continue reading

More on the book

Here’s the thing.
I wrote sometime ago that publishers are ready to publish my book about the Donbass titled “People Here” at their own expense, but without photos. They’d publish it with photos only if I covered the cost. Therefore I abandoned that idea, and wrote about it on the blog. On the same day, I received messages from several people asking how much it would cost to publish the book with photos, and offered their financial aid.

Continue reading

Time for hot water!

This happened during the summer.
We were running from house to house with aid packets when Anna Viktorovna, the director of the Lugansk Children’s Rehab Center, called with an unexpected request. We usually help with food, medicaments, or other necessities. Such as cleaning supplies, diapers, etc., because we grew accustomed to focusing on these key areas. But Anna Viktorovna asked us for glue and wallpaper.
It wasn’t exactly an emergency request but we couldn’t ignore it. Because the center gets no assistance except through volunteers. Anna Viktorovna said that LPR did assign funds for renovating the center, but it was enough just for the basics, and there wasn’t enough for restoring the hallway.
So we grabbed one of their workers and went shopping.

Continue reading


Friends, there are news about little Kolya from Lugansk who has purulent meningitis and requires an immediate operation, about which I wrote yesterday.
Almost immediately after the publication, my personal number exploded with countless proposals and advice. Most of them referred us to these organizations which already turned us down. Unfortunately, Kolya’s problems are serious and chances uncertain…But he still has them. In addition to the pain in his head, he has a whole range of other ailments.

Continue reading