Olha Mosiienko, 58, a resident of Zolote:
It's hard to remember. Everything was fine before the war. People lived and worked. And now many people, young people and children, have left. It's very hard to go through all this.
Shelling attacks were the most difficult. You didn't know whether you should go to the store or not. Attacks haven't stopped yet (2018). There are times when it gets quiet. However, there are times when it gets unbearable. You can't feel peaceful and safe in your own house. We used to make plans for the future. Now we live within a moment. Thank God that we are alive. Nothing else is more previous than human lfe.
Just imagine going to bed to the shooting sounds, and waking up those sounds. Well, they may stop shooting sometimes. We still feel tension in the air. Constant tension. I get up early in the morning, rush to feed Husband and Mother. Then I went to the store. When I was about to start cooking, shelling began.
I can still see war before my eyes. You begin to fear every shot. It's very hard to remember what had happened. We can't forget it though. We have no peace. We are still being shelled.
I fear for life, for my son when he goes to work in the morning to the sounds of shelling. I just think whether it will reach us or not. whether a shell will fall or not. When attacks starts, he can't get up or run away. I hide in the cellar or sometimes in the corner.
It is terrible. It is devastation, it is death and horror. We shudder deep inside, and we think straight. It is so horrible. People run in different directions, hide in basements and just manage to survive.
We also had explosions here. Houses were destroyed, and shells exploded. We hear echo when they shoot around. The worst horror is in my head. We can't forget what had happened. It is so horrible.
We grew up here, studied here, worked here. We don't want to leave our homes. We can't leave. I can't rent a house with a sick person? My mother is old and sick. We can't leave. We have no place to go to. We pray to God, thank God that we are alive today.
My husband's legs were crushed in an accident. They had to be cut off. He was seriously ill. He had a traumatic brain injury. I had one foot in the grave. He lost a lot of blood. Then , little by little, he got better. However, the war knocked him down. He's got high blood pressure, diabetes, and he's blind. He can't see with one eye at all. He is sick all the time. His legs ache. He can't walk, he's confined to bed. He can just lie or sit.
Victor Sorochak, 59, a resident of Zоlote:
It's hard for me to go up and down the stairs in a wheelchair. What is the use of me? I am like a piece of furniture. There is a chest of drawers, a sofa, etc. Who should be on the couch? A man. So I am like part of that furniture. You know, I am the addition to it. Part of the apartment, that's all. Wife has to do all the housework. She has to take care of the gardens as well.
Needless to say that it is difficult. They hide in the cellar, but I stay here, because I can't go down. I just wonder whether a shell will fall on me or not. I can't do anything about it.
Every single day I go to bed before midnight. Sometimes I am even surprised why it's so quiet. I feel kind of uncomfortable in moments like this. And when they start shooting, it means that everything is back to normal. If they shoot far away, it means we are going to be fine. When they get closer, I get begin to worry. It got into a habit now. When I wake up and hear they aren't shooting, I wonder what it is. A day off?
I remember when there was a heavy bombardment in 2014 or 2015, I couldn't go out in the middle of the night and go down to the cellar. So I just sat in the corner and waited. I don't remember exactly, but I think the attack lasted for about 15 minutes. It felt like an eternity, like it would never end. And every moment I thought that it was over, I heard a shell whistling. So I say, "All right, all right." I'll remember that for the rest of my life.
The mother of the son-in-law lives here. We often talk to each other. I visit her when I go to the store. We support each other. Most of the time I am alone. I go to the store once or twice a week. I try to buy everything I need. The store is quite far from where I live.
I can't leave them either. My mother is afraid. When I leave, she says, "Please, don't be long." She's afraid to be alone. I tell her, "You're not alone. You have a dog, cats, a husband." And she says, "No." She understands that her husband is disabled, that if something happens, he will not be able to help.
We just hope that things will get better. We still have hope.