Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Valentyna Pokushalova

"Warn everyone that war is coming"

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I was born in the village of Chernenko. I live here alone. My husband died in 2012. Son lives separate from me. When the armed hostilities started,  Chairman of the Village Council, Shapkin, called me, "Warn everyone that war is coming. The military men are already here." 

Warn everyone that war is coming

"At first I hid under the bed. Then I quit"

I went along the village and told everyone that we need to hide somewhere if they start bombing.

I was running from the end of the village and was nearly home when I saw air-crafts in the sky. Seven air-crafts flew over my garden and my house. I remember thinking at that moment that my house was probably destroyed. 

I fell on the road and thought, "What on earth should I do?" Terrible humming sounds were  striking upon and something red was being thrown around. They flew over the village and flew into the steppe. 

I came home, went to the field and wondered what those red things were. They looked like toys. However, picking them up was dangerous. We were all cautioned  not to  touch them since they it might explode! 

Warn everyone that war is coming

Things settled a bit for two days, and then shooting attacks started again. It was scary. Shells would fly past the yard towards the river. The houses were raving about. You couldn't even lie on the bed – that's how the beds shook! It was awful! It was so dreadful that I can't even describe it.

I lay down on the floor and hid under the bed. Then I quit. I thought that if a shell would fall, it would still kill me.

So I stood between in the doorway. I wished that if it went through the window, I would stay alive. 

Warn everyone that war is coming

If they were weeding in the garden and the shelling started, I lay down. Once I went to the garden, and I saw it flying in the sky. I hugged the tree and stood. I didn't know what to do. I hugged the tree and thought whether it hit or miss?

Standing alone,  I was so scared. I did not know where to go or what to do. I lay down and heard a crash. I thought that it was the dishes,  probably falling from the sideboard. But those were not dishes, but windows shattering. Three windows crashed. Then the wall and  the roof of the house were hit. The basement was broken, as well as the kitchen. 

Warn everyone that war is coming

"My granddaughter was killed – shrapnel hit her head"

My granddaughter was killed during the war. She was 19 years old. On 3 June, she turned 19, and on 15 June she died.

She lived in the village of Kominternovo. It was under heavy attacks. She just came out – a shell exploded, and fragments flew across the yard. Two of them hit the head at once. Her father — my son— rushed there there straight away, but she was already dead. How can parents get through this? It's horrible!

"People survived this owing to  only thanks by virtue of Rinat Akhmetov"

We deeply appreciate all the support Rinat Akhmetov provide. We wish him and his family excellent health for all the good deeds that he did. He did so much! We received food products every month. We were given cereals, as well as other necessary products. Everything he could possibly do, he did. We don't have any shops here. 

Warn everyone that war is coming

We appreciate his support greatly. I don't know such a person anymore, it is so rare. He is one of a kind. He supported all Donetsk Oblast. Both little and old residents received his aid. People managed to survive only by means of his assistance. The most important thing is that he never forgets us. 

We believe that the war will end sometime. That those beautiful blooming days will come again, and we will live again. And that our grandchildren, children will enjoy and joys of life. We wish that life will be as it was before.

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

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Chernenko 2015 Text Civilian's stories pensioners shelling
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