Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Hanna Vasilivna Karapetian
age: 68
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"Those who were not affected by the war, can say, "This can't be happening"

She lives with her husband in a house under constant fire. Projectiles went off in the middle of the street, right in front of her eyes.

22 shells flew out in eight minutes and destroyed the entire street. It happened in the evening. We were already asleep, wearing pyjamas.

Our family consists of me, my husband, children, and great-grandchildren. However, they are not around. My husband and I are alone. My family had to leave because there was a lot of shelling. We packed everything for a day. Children became ill because of the war. Both children got diabetes. 

We faced war for the first time when our tanks from Volnovakha, Mariupol, went to Donetsk. People would say, "We are intelligence. And they did not suspect anything. Then tanks returned and entered the village. They said they would protect us.

Shootings followed after that. We heard and saw the shells. That is when we realized that it was all very serious.

Those who were not affected by the war, can say,

The first destruction was on Tsentralna Street (formerly Lenina Street). 22 shells flew out in eight minutes and destroyed the entire street.

It happened in the evening. We were already asleep, wearing pyjamas. By the time I got dressed to run to the basement, everything had stopped.

Those who were not affected by the war, can say,

We practically lived in the basement in 2015. We didn't have time to stay for long. We just had time for some snack or to cook something. And then we lived without electricity for a long time. The first month (34 days, to be exact) we lived with no light. We cooked food over a campfire.

Those who were not affected by the war, can say,

And when the shelling began, we ran to our neighbors'. "Is everything all right there? Are you all right? Praise be to God."

Without doubt, we have experienced a lot. We were not so afraid once, and now we are terrified. When a shooting starts, you could smell panic is in the air. We were not so afraid before. Maybe we did not believe that it was so serious. 

Those who were not affected by the war, can say,

 

One day a friend of mine came to visit me. We were sitting in the corridor when the shelling started. I asked, "Raya, where are you going?" "I'll go, I still have to go to the Village Council." I said, " Don't go, can't you see what's happening?" And then there was an explosion on the next street. I looked out the window – it's 100 meters away from us. Smoke was everywhere. I said, "Raya, it's almost on your street. What if they start hitting the village?" She replied, "No, I have to, I'll go."

So at first we didn't have any fear. And now we are afraid, because we know how it can end. 

We sat in the basement with the stove burning. We slept dressed up. Even when things settled a bit, and we came to the house, we slept fully dressed. We slept in the clothes we wore during the day. They got up, washed quickly, and lived with constant fear.

People did not communicate with each other, no one could be seen in the village. They ran quickly to the store, bought something and quickly backed away. We did not communicate. But the neighbors looked at each other, wondering if everything is OK? 

Those who were not affected by the war, can say,

РС-82 exploded under our windows, in two meters. It's a good thing I left that room for some reason and went into the corridor. God probably saved us. We went to the corridor to make some tea. Thank God we had electricity then. The husband came and said," I'm going to shave." "Can't you hear the attack. Why don't you  go and take a bath!" I said

And at that very moment, something explodes nearby. "Oh, it is so close, let's run to the basement." And he said, "Oh no…" And then I heard the sound was intensifying. He said, "God, it must have hit our bedroom."

Husband ran out to the street to see where and what it was, and I went to the the bedroom. The walls were undamaged, just glass was scattered on the floor. All the window panes shattered at once. That's how the war affected us. But, thank God, we were supported. Our windows were replaced shortly afterwords. The neighbors immediately ran and brought glass. That was our experience.

Many people were injured here. One day, a mother went to meet her daughter. All of a sudden, a projectile hit nearby! That was it. Another woman was on her way to get water. Then suddenly bang and she was torn to pieces. How can this be?

Once our neighbors came by. Their son lives next door. They checked on him, came back and came to us.  And then the bombardment began. We went to the basement to sit it out. The basement walls were shaking, and I could hear everything. Then it seemed that it stopped. We came out of the basement and stood talking as usual. We suddenly a shot was heard, and we saw it. Whatever that was, we did not know. Another one exploded on the next street before our eyes, hitting  the roof of the house.

Anyone who hasn't seen it won't understand. People from the neighboring villages that do not have war at their doorstep, say, "This can't be happening."

We have machine guns in our village. It's like a common thing, they can shooot any morning or evening. They just let you know that we're here to stay out of it. 

During the war, when we had light, we still planted a garden. We were worried: if there is no light, there is no water. We still planted it. It was our food, after all. We had no money to buy food. We cooked food outside, on the stove. We had a cast-iron stove outside, too. I am grateful to my husband for the stove in the basement,  which he made, too. I could keep warm. I can't live in constant cold. Your joints begin to hurt.

Those who had some  savings had left already. And those who stayed here were always worried. We packed everything we had, and they left. They have little children. And we don't care. Even now we don't want to go anywhere, we got used to life here. And starting life from scratch is very difficult at our age. 

We didn't get our pension payments for four months. That time was very rough. It's good that the store would give us food on trust. Maybe I would died the following day, but they still supported me. Well done, thank them.

And thank you very much to Rinat Leonidovich for helping us. He always remembers about people in need.

Doctors Without Borders also came to see us. They checked blood pressure, sugar, and heart. They gave me free medicine. That is how we lived. Now the Red Cross has started to help a little. Pensions are now paid without delay.

I wish it would all end as soon as possible. Maybe the children will come back. But there is no work now, there is nothing, it is impossible to live here, especially for young people. I dream that people can go wherever they want. These days you can't even walk to buy some food without a passport. How did we come to this? I want it to be like before, even though life wasn't that nice before either.

Those who were not affected by the war, can say,
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