Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Karyna Herasymova

"In the morning I learned what war is"

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16 June 2014. In the morning, the sun was bright and a cool breeze was blowing. There was no sign of trouble. I ate and was about to watch TV. About 30 minutes later, a frightened mother ran into the room, followed by her grandmother. Worried sick, they started shouting. My sister was crying. I was planet-struck, so I started crying, too. Mum was shouting something, "Tanks! Alarm! Hurry up to the street! Mum, take the children's passports and birth certificates!"

I didn't understand anything at the time, but when our house shook, I immediately remembered our teacher's story about what to do in emergency actions, earthquakes, and war…

We all went down to the basement. It was quite light but cold and damp there. Then I fell asleep. I don't remember what happened last night, because I was fast asleep. In the morning, I finally found out what had happened. I understood what war was, and I had no idea what was ahead of me.

When we went back to the apartment, I couldn't believe what I saw. There were no windows, and the glass lay on the floor. Mother packed up things and threw them in the car. Then my sister and I got in the back seats, and we drove away.

My mother said that we were approaching the checkpoint, so we had so be quiet. For me, an eight-year-old girl, it was a shock that some guy in a uniform poked a gun at the car window and told us to get out of the car. He searched the car, found nothing, and then he let us go.

We went to Zhytomyr the next morning. My mother said we were going to live there. We stayed in a hotel for the first week, and then we rented an apartment. Soon I went to a new school, made new friends, but I often miss my home. There is still one issue to solve: will I ever be able to return home? After all, the war hasn't finished yet, and you can see no end to it.

For me, peace is when you wake up in the morning in the morning, and those you love are around. It is when you have quiet breakfast and go for a walk with friends. When you don't have to fear that they will shot again, and you can be blown up by a mine. It is when you go to school and don;t have to worry that you are from Donetsk.

Despite the fact that the war started, I will always remember where I was born, where my home is and where my family came from.

Donetsk 2014 Text Civilian's stories
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