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Stories that you confided to us

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Aliona Tertyshna

"The war started right outside our window"

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2014. Like everyone else, I went to work this morning. My husband worked as a builder in Donetsk. He went to work. The eldest child went to school, our middle boy stayed with his grandmother in the village of Halytsynivka. I got to work, and everything was fine until the whole nightmare started. I worked in the village of Karlivka, 7 km from Halytsynivka.

Military actions were unfolding several kilometres away. But we all expected that they would not reach us. We hoped, prayed, and thought that everything would end and everything would be fine. I barely worked until 05:00 p.m. I had to close my favourite store, so I never went to work there again, and so did my beloved husband.

We had to quit our jobs, just be close to the children, because all this horror didn't stop. When we got home from work, we decided that we had to leave by all means. It took two more weeks of this hell to get ready.

Then, when the war got even closer, we had to leave. We sold everything we could to get enough money for a while. We had an imported car before the war. My save money to buy it for 20 years. We had to sell it.

We went to Sevastopol, Crimea. Leaving our nest was so hard for us! The war broke out right outside our window. The middle son was very scared. I had to take him to the sea, so that he would somehow forget what a war was.

We stayed there for a month and then had to go home, because our dad was very ill. The children really wanted to see their grandfather. So we had no choice but to go home. Plus, the money was running out. We had to pay a lot for housing and food. We had no relatives or acquaintances. The we returned home to our friends and relatives.

To be honest, it's better to live under explosions, but at home in love and poverty, than God knows where, always feeling obliged to someone.

My husband and I couldn't find jobs We started working in our own garden and living off it.

"The child is already used to falling asleep and waking up to explosions"

Until these terrible days, months of years, we lived a happy full-fledged family. The war let us know of its arrival with a wild whistle of shells, mines, and deafening explosions a few houses away.

During the war, our beloved daughter was born. So there were five of us already: two sons and a sweet daughter, whom we named Sofiia. She was born in 2016. It was the best time of war and, thank God, our Sofiia will turn one year old on 30 September 2017.

The child is already used to falling asleep and waking up to explosions. Our children have learned to appreciate simple things during the war. They help us in the house, and they how to share.

And we would like to send our regards to the humanitarian assistance of "Let Us Help" — a foundation initiated by Rinat Akhmetov. Thanks to your food packages, we are able to fry pies, bake bread and rolls. The children wait for "Let us Help's" packages all the time. They already know that Mr Rinat sends them a grocery set – sweets, cereals, formulas. Your attention and support is very important to us. Please accept our daddy's poem from the Tertyshnyis

War.
War! Why are you here?
All these bullets coming from the sky
tear us apart.
Like a fierce winter
that came and froze the ground,
The war froze our hearts.
No other word is angrier than this.
It is cruel and filled with blood.
It deprives joy of life.
People, stop fighting!
Just let the children keep peaceful memories of their childhood!

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
Halitsynivka 2014 Text Civilian's stories
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