Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Gulsum Ablyakimova
age: 75
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"I slept wearing my common clothes after that night. Full alert"

She lives in the village of Hranitne. In 2014, she went to bed, wearing dressed in order to keep watch. I was in the house when a shell hit the yard.

I would not even undress after all the shooting. A packet or a bag with documents and money were at call. I slept in my common clothes and woke up in it.

I was born in Crimea in 1944 at night-time, and we were deported in the morning. And the young soldier said, "Mother, your children are small, take the trough." And so, she held a trough  in one hand and me in the other hand – that is how we were so we were evicted to Perm Oblast,  of the Dobryansky District, Urals. So I grew up there. When we arrived here in 1961, I was 17 years old. My father wanted to get closer to Crimea. I have lived here in Ukraine up to this day. So I am already indigenous. My daughter lives in Crimea, she got married there. And my two sons are here.

 "At least back then we knew: — the Germans attacked. And now?"

I slept wearing my common clothes after that night. Full alert

 We would never have thought that the war would come here. If you had told me about it a few years ago, no one would have believed you. That person would probably get scolded. 

 We got through a lot of fear. When these shells were flying, we didn't know where to go. The basement collapsed. Two shells hit just past the house, behind the kitchen. I had a neighbor Asya. One day she came to me, we sat in the kitchen porch. Then windows just shattered into small pieces…  The kindergarten was around the corner, and now the store was open. There was a basement. We would run there. My two neighbors came,  and we hid there.

 I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy to experience something like this. Our parents had to witness it. However, at least they knew back then that the attackers were German. And now what?" They pushed people with their foreheads.

"Where is there left to go? Quit everything?"

It was August 2014. I got undressed as usual and went to bed. Then I heard a rattling sound in the middle of the night. I jumped out and in the dark, afraid to turn on the light. We already knew that the "DPR" people... I went back and forth — I couldn't find my robe. I wrapped the blanket around me and jumped out.

Mines fell on the village. Mines and shells… There was a red glow.

I would not even undress after all the shooting. A packet or a bag with documents and money were at call. I slept in my common clothes and woke up in it. I never got undressed, wearing warm socks, leggings, and a sweater. That is how it was. Full alert. I wanted to forget it all, but I still remember everything.

How many sores have we got? I can't even tell you how many headaches I had.  My heart starts pounding. I went to my daughter in Crimea, and she took me to Feodosia.  They did a MRI. I took too many medications! Including injections and everything else. The neurologist said, "How are you getting on?" He wonders and asks, "Why aren't you leaving?" But where is there to move to? Quit everything?" I don't know. if you have a thick wallet, you can  leave everything behind and go.  And this way... After all, they have two sons and a family. what if I leave? I couldn't leave them behind.

I slept wearing my common clothes after that night. Full alert

Many have left and the houses are empty. But people don't have jobs, salaries, or money. So they started roaming the houses. Yes, we do have some thieves... A teacher went to Spain alone  to visit her daughter during the war. When she arrived, the house was empty. They took everything out. No dishes, no clothes, no nothing. 

"Let the thunder rumble but not shells!"

 It was something terrible, horrible. We had to experience what we saw in the films. These are two different things. Once they showed how Syria was bombed. I even felt sick. Well, who's sitting there? The common people were sitting there. They showed the bomb attack of the Russian air-crafts. At least the air-crafts didn't bomb. They only attacked using shells. God forbid anyone to experience something like this. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy to experience something like this. 

I slept wearing my common clothes after that night. Full alert

I don't want them to occupy our territory. Maybe someone would like to live in the DPR, but it is not me. People live in the DNR. I can hear how they live. No matter how you say it, it is still Ukraine. I consider myself a native, even though I am a Tatar. I have lived here since 1961. 

I just wish that all this would end. I wish that children would walk freely.

I  wish that children would play fearlessly in the street. I wish that they  would study. I wish that people would have jobs, salaries. We don't want anything extraordinary. We wish to have a clear sky. And let the thunder rumble before the rain, but not shells, not bombs.

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