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Stories that you confided to us

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Serhiy Rybalchenko

“Walking the luckiest 30 kilometres took us three days… Some people did not make it at all…”

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From the first days of the war, people from shelled villages and districts of the city were coming to Rishelievsky Hotel in the centre of Kherson. Some people simply did not have a home any more, others found their homes on the front line or under massive shelling. Hotel administrator Serhiy Rybalchenko and his wife Anastasia spent all the months of the occupation literally at their workplace. They settled refugees, organized their everyday life, and looked for all kinds of help for IDPs – food, clothes, hygiene items etc... Women with children would come with their documents, at best, and without a change of clothes and money. Men from the villages came on foot – otherwise they would not be let out. Not everyone managed to survive... 

After the liberation of Kherson, Serhiy continues to deliver humanitarian aid to the most dangerous parts of the city. Together with other hotel staff and volunteers, they help people cover the windows with plastic film after incoming air strikes, remove debris and fragments...

Serhiy shared his story about how they lived during the occupation, about the endless checks of documents at gunpoint and attempts to “talk”, about how the city lives after liberation and whether there is a safe place in Kherson...

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
Kherson 2022 Video Civilian's stories men psychological injury shelling safety and life support Job the first day of the war
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