Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Halyna Ivanivna Koval
age: 53
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Pavlopil
Pavlopil
"My daughter screamed, "Mother was killed!"

Their house was first shelled on 2 November 2014. Mother died shortly afterwards — her heart gave out. She stayed alone with her daughter. She roamed around and tried to return home. However, she had to leave for Mariupol – her daughter could not endure this constant shooting attacks.

War is a true calamity for everyone. We will have to deal with its consequences for a long time.

I am registered in the village of Pavlopil. My daughter's name is Innochka, 11 years old. She suffers from cerebral palsy. The child can't care for herself, so I feed her, sing to her, etc. Living in our house has become unbearable now.

My daughter screamed,

This all [military actions] began in August, when machinery arrived in Novoazovsk. A military column crawled like a snake. Its head was far ahead, but the tail was not visible yet. We were totally shocked. Two days later, this column went back. Buses were trashed. Poor lads stayed there. It was scary to look at. The attacks began subsequently. 

My daughter screamed,

However, our village of Pavlopil might not have been affected at first. Only air crafts were flying over. We even got used to the shelling and didn't pay attention any more. And on 2 November, we were actually shelled at for the first time.

My daughter screamed,

Mother said, "Halya, they're shooting." Then I replied, "Mom, they shoot every day, I'm tired of it." At that moment a chandelier began to shake, and glass began to crumble.

The three of us were at home at that time. My mother was ill —she was bed-bound. Raising my mother and taking my daughter to go down to the cellar took some time… We stood in the hallway behind the wardrobe and all the windows just shattered. A double blast wave In front of the house and behind the house blew everything away. It was so horrible. 

When we went down to the cellar, something hit me.

Inna shouted, "Mother was killed, mother was killed!" I said, "I am here, in front of you. Look, I'm here." And she said, "Look." Then I saw a pool of blood.

Luckily, the wound was more of a slight fright. It must have just hit a blood vessel. That is why, the blood was gushing. I saw something like this on TV.

My daughter screamed,

It hit me in the lumbar spine from behind. It might have been a fragment. We were just running out of the house. Our kitchen was attached to the house, and there was a corridor there. Apparently, fragments hit the ceiling there. I wonder how they did not hit Inna. I carried my daughter in my arms, and my mother walked behind me. It was certainly creepy.

Then an ambulance arrived. We were taken to Talakivka with uncle Tolya Brahin. He was wounded, too. I got off lightly. He was not so lucky, though. His shoulder was ruptured. He went into the store, and a shell exploded right behind him. It happened on Sunday morning, about 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. He had a surgery. And I was just stitched up. Anyways,  I had to get through the consequences for two months — I could not sit down or get up. It was a nightmare.

I came home from the hospital.

My daughter screamed,

I told the doctors,

"My mother is bed-bound, and my child is sick. How am I supposed to undergo any treatment? Discharge me." They patched me up a little and sent me to the surgeon for an examination.

But I went home. And then it started again.

My daughter screamed,

We started calling my brother, who lives in Artemivsk. He found a car for me and my daughter and took it to his place. We took the basic necessities — something to wear. What else is there to take?  Just documents to certify that you are a human being, that's all. 

On 2 November, we were shelled, and on 7 November, my mother died. We were in Artemivsk and were not able to save her. Gracious Heavens! She had a heart attack.

We roamed around for four months and then had to return to Pavlopil. And then attacks started again. We couldn't even go to the toilet securely. My daughter was afraid to stay in the house. She would jump even if a fork or spoon fell. She is still afraid. Unfortunately, the child, as well as we, will keep these dreadful memories for a long time. 

We have been a "grey area" for over a year. We had one authority during the day, and another  authority at night. The shelling attacks occurred at night, too. They would get drunk or whatever they do — only God knows — and have fun, driving a vehicle and firing from a machine gun at houses… It was scary. I looked out the window at night and there were red stripes from bullets. Then we gathered shell casings like mushrooms. It was a nightmare. We were afraid to go out. We always wondered and guessed the place the attack would begin in?

When my mother was still alive, I saw myself as a protector when we stayed in the cellar. I was not afraid. But when I got in there with Inna, it was very scary.

My daughter screamed,

We slept dressed. Wearing tights and pants. Boots or slippers were nearby. We had spoons, mugs, and blankets in the cellar.

All the slate fell down, and windows shattered because of the attacks. We used a bag of cement to seal the holes in the walls.

In the beginning, the village was closed. We could not go to the store. All facilities closed down.

My daughter screamed,

The aid the Humanitarian Center provided was our salvation. We are very grateful. It was the only way to survive. We really appreciate that Rinat Akhmetov has done, that he did not give up on us and is worried about us now.

War is a true calamity for everyone. We will have to deal with its consequences for a long time. 

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