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Stories that you confided to us

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Lyudmyla Baranova

"I just lay there and prayed that it wouldn't hit me"

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I have lived in Hnutove since I was born. My mother was born here, as well as my grandmother. So we are long-term residens. I used to live in Vinohradna Street – my parents' house is there. When my husband and I got married, we took this house. We have been living in this house since 1976. We had two children. The youngest has been dead for 18 years. The eldest got married.

I just lay there and prayed that it wouldn't hit me

In 2014, when the attacks began, we sat in the basement. Then I got tired of hiding in this basement, because my feet hurt, and it was hard to jump up the stairs there. We put a mattress under a blank wall there. And once the shelling began, we fell to the floor under the wall. I just lay there and prayed that it wouldn't hit me.

 This horror cannot be conveyed. My husband got sick from all this stress. On 24 January, 2015, when there were attacks on Skhidne, then these Grads went through Hnutove. Shells were falling everywhere around our house. It was so scary, bad beyond belief! The chandelier rumbled, the windows shattered.

I just lay there and prayed that it wouldn't hit me

 My son got a call – he came and picked us up. We stayed at his place for 10 days — we were afraid to return. Then we came back, after all. And just a few days later, in early February, more attack followed. A man was killed (in a house across the garden on the skew). Half of his head was blown off. Husband went to have a look,  but I didn't.

 After such stress, the husband held on for some time, and then got sick. In early 2016,he passed away.

I just lay there and prayed that it wouldn't hit me

My sister-in-law in Skhidnti [district] was injured. Shrapnel hit her hip. They still haven't been pulled out. She is suffering.

 Every three months, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation gave us food packages. They supported us. The Foundation helps us to this day. We deeply appreciate its aid This is considerable assistance, because it is difficult to survive at such time times. How would we have survived?

I just lay there and prayed that it wouldn't hit me

However, I hope for the best. I hope that this war will end and peace will come to all districts. People will live happily. I want them to be proud of our Ukraine.

Gnutovo 2014 Text Civilian's stories
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