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Stories that you confided to us

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Olesia Milovanova

“I understood that it was the last call. If you don’t respond, you will end up in a basement, and that’s it…”

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The Luhansk Oblast Local History Museum was occupied twice. In 2014, when Luhansk and nearby towns were occupied, the museum relocated to Starobilsk. At the beginning of March 2022, this town was also occupied. Now, the museum has opened its doors to visitors in Lviv. 

Olesia Milovanova, director of the Luhansk Oblast Local History Museum, had been readying the museum for a large-scale war long before the war began. We packed the exhibits and enlisted the support of colleagues from Lviv in case we have to evacuate before February 24. However, when the Russian troops were fast approaching the city, it was impossible to find transport that could be used to evacuate the exhibits. 

Starobilsk was occupied in a matter of days. Olesia Milovanova and her son were able to leave the town with the help of Ukrainian servicemen. They also gave her the first exhibit of the “victory collection” of the Luhansk Oblast Local History Museum – a parachute from the Russian SU-25 fighter jet that was shot down near Izium.

While Olesia Milovanova was in occupied Starobilsk, she and Olha Honchar, director of the Territory of Terror Museum located in Lviv, created the Museum Crisis Center. They helped personnel of other museums located in the east who needed money, food, and medicines. 

The Luhansk Oblast Local History Museum was founded in Luhansk in January 1920. The museum collection includes over 180 thousand objects that have archaeological and anthropological value, as well as collections of coins, photos. documents, works of art, and household items.

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
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