At 4: 00 I was coming from Easter service. I came home, the bullet whistled nearby. A shot, a whistle – and it fell down beside me. There is a hospital nearby, the territory can be shoot through. Bullets fell here and on a kitchen garden, and fragments were lying everywhere, everything was littered with them.
So you are sitting, write a test paper in class or preparing for an exam – and the shelling begins. Two rings and we run to the basement. Then we sit there for an hour, go out if everything calms down. And the parents take us home. If they cannot do it, you wait for all the lessons, then go home yourself.
Last week, on Wednesday, we were going down to the basement and they started shooting. The Windows are all broken at school.
- It happened on January 22, 2015. We were at home: me, Dima, Kostya, Natasha and Volodya. This is Volodya - my son-in-law.
- On that day, Marinka was shelled from the morning. We first went down to the basement, then went up to the house and sat down to have something to eat, because it was quiet. Somewhere around one in the afternoon, we were sitting and eating. My grandmother and Kostya were talking, my father went out to add up coal, and my mother went to do the laundry. I was eating. There was no whistling, no rustling. Three shells hit the house at once!
I was sitting at the table and found myself in the hall, about three meters from the table. I was pushed back by a wave. I got up, didn't understand anything, everything was in a fog. I couldn't hear anything. I went out into the street – there were screams and explosions. The shells exploded.
- Suddenly… I remember sitting down, and then I got up – my right hand was bleeding, the blood was so thick... I remember that Kostya shouted "Daddy" three time, he was calling for his daddy. "Daddy, daddy, daddy!” And that's it, I fainted.
When I came to my senses, I remember that my son-in-law Volodya threw back the table, grabbed Kostya in his arms and carried him. I walked slowly, holding on to the wall. Near the veranda, I lost consciousness and fell. The only thing I remember is that Kostya was lying down, the soldiers came running and started looking. One of them said that he was no longer breathing, inanimate. Volodya said: "You look better, maybe he's still alive." They said he wasn’t.
My brother was cheerful and enthusiastic. All the time he enjoyed life, ran. He practiced mixed wrestling. When he was seven, he started doing it. He was practicing for three years before the war started. We helped each other. He helped me do my homework. He was always close to me, we talked constantly.
We were sitting in the ambulance, the military gave me a helmet. I didn't understand anything at all, I was in shock, there was no pain, I didn't feel anything. And then dad brought in my brother and said: «That is it». They checked everything, tried to do something – but nothing worked. They said the artery was broken in the throat.
– I wasn't thinking straight yet, but I remember being told he wasn't alive. When I was in intensive care in Dnepropetrovsk, no one was allowed to see me, probably for three or four days. Then the eldest daughter arrived. She said that Kostya was gone, he was buried.
It is hard, it is still very hard. That scream, it's all in front of my eyes. It is very hard.
The daughter suffers, she still can not recover. We thought she might need to see a psychologist.
Children don't go where it all happened. We don't take Dima there, we don't let him in. I go, sometimes my son-in-law Volodya goes to help me do something. It must take a long time for this to heal, to pass.
Why do we need all this, for what? I don't know. I feel sorry for the children. What did they see? Dima was wounded. His left arm was injured, he had the operation.
- There were 13 shrapnel wounds on the arm. It tore through to the bone and damaged the muscles. I couldn't believe it for two weeks, I didn't realize anything after the pain shock. I didn't feel like eating or drinking anything. I didn't eat anything at all.
I couldn't move my arm or even my fingers for a month and a half. It reacts to weather, it hurts also when I do a lot of work. When I help around the house my arm starts to hurt right away.
-- We live in constant fear. There are attacks and the whole house is shaking. We try to hide somewhere, get together. So that if there is a hit, we would quickly jump out into the basement. If we make it. If we don't have time, we'll have to hide somewhere in the hut.
I'm afraid for my children, for my grandchildren, for my own and other people's children. We have all Marinka under fire.
The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation paid for our treatment in full. He's doing a very big job. I think that both he and his team are great fellows.
God save us, there will be peace, I hope for that. We will be helped and everything will be restored. We'll go back and live there. We will farm, plant vegetables, cultivate trees.
When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:
The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/