It was a hot July day.
The sun was shining towards evening.
What could go wrong? You would ask.
We harvested onions from the garden.
At some point we could hear complete silence.
It was impossible to understand what happened then.
We heard an explosion and saw a column of fire,
it was horrible.
We saw the acacia fall and light up.
The neighbors rushed somewhere in a hurry.
They found out the Mariinka was under fire.
We were told to leave our home.
A bus drove around the corner and
took away those who wanted to leave.
But where to? Nobody knew.
Away from this terror!
We didn’t know what to do. The night was setting in.
All the streets were almost empty.
Shelter was the only salvation.
And where could we find it? Of course, in the bushes!
No, we still have patience.
We found a shelter - a bomb shelter at the plant.
A lot of people stayed there at that time:
The old, the young and children.
It was clear that people didn’t expect that.
Overall, the people there were reliable.
We really didn’t expect that.
There was no electricity, toilet there,
but the people were very supportive and helpful.
We just had some drinking water
and a candle burning in the corner. Luckily, we were not alone.
People are not to blame. We could stay there for three days and three nights
when the city was under attack.
We could hear Grad fragment and mortars flying towards us.
People died, and houses burnt.
How come our people are responsible for this? For what?
How long will it last? How many years?
Nobody knows anything.
There is no answer to that question!
Our dream didn't come true,
and peace has not resumed.
We still have one hope, though.
What should we do? Where should we go?
I had so many thoughts in my head.
There are no cars, almost all neighbors have left.
Should I stay?
I felt terrified. Everything inside me trembled.
Suddenly someone called me
and said, “Are you ready to go? Wait!
A bus will be waiting for you by the road, they will pick you up,
they will bring you to Krasnoarmisk,
I'll meet you here."
It was Anatolii,
his wife's father used to
come to school.
They took me in and offered to stay with them.
So I became a resident of Krasnoarmisk,
registered as an internal refugee.
Hospital, nurses and doctors
saved me from this horror,
I started receiving disability allowance.
I began a new life, a good life.
I owe you so much.
Having a house and a garden of my own,
I couldn’t live there.
Krasnohorivka was still under fire.
The windows, doors and fences were broken.
Grad fragments hit the yard
and a vegetable garden. Who will repair it?
When will this time come?
I don't ask questions.
We used to live normal lives.
No one expected the violence of war.
But suddenly the grenade burst,
blood and death of common people
disturbed the peace around
and the so precious time of silence.
And we left our houses and
relatives at home.
We looked for a shelter and someone who would help us.
We were despaired. We were terrified and shocked.
We hoped not in vain.
There are caring people in the world.
They are volunteers.
Their kind hearts have not yet hardened.
They helped us by bringing everything they could.
They helped us the best they could,
with good words, good deeds.
They brought food and medicines.
Thank you so much. God bless you all!
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/