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Stories that you confided to us

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Ruslan Nykytenko

‘It was particularly terrifying at night’

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The war started for me in May 2014 when it came to my home town. I dread to remember that terrible time when we existed (guess that could hardly be called a living) under constant shellfire. Explosions, spurts of gunfire felt so distinct and so close that they kept people on the alert and waiting for a shell landing on their homes any minute.

It was particularly terrifying at night, with that never-ending volley fire, and psychologically devastating, most of all, because of the feeling of own helplessness and frustration.

Back then, I worked in Donetsk, and at first, on my way to the office, I had to go through checkpoints and personal searches by armed people in balaclavas. Frequently, I couldn’t come home because there were intense hostilities close to Donetsk airport, and so I had to crash my friends’ places.

In July 2014, the company where I worked made a life-changing decision, at least that was such for me, to urgently relocate our office and all staff to another city, Dnipro. On 18 July 2014, I was shocked by the contrast when I saw those happy and untroubled people enjoying themselves and leisurely walking down the river banks, that all looked like a parallel universe. Yet, that was just 250 km away from home...

I thank God that my family and me eventually have made it through, safe and sound, and that we have had this opportunity to start a new peaceful life.

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/

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Avdiivka 2014 Text Civilian's stories men 2014 moving psychological injury shelling safety and life support internally displaced persons
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