Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Olga Demenkova
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"I am teaching a lesson and then the explosions begin"

A resident of Donetsk Olga fondly remembers her hometown, which she had to leave because of the war. She moved with a friend, children and a cat. In Donetsk, Olga worked as a teacher. He recalls how the students were terrified when they were shot at, how parents asked to move their child away from the window, so that they would not be injured by shrapnel.

I was teaching lessons, explosions started abruptly, and the children were terrified. And parents were calling me: "Please, take  my child to  the third row instead of the first row from the window?” Because if it shoots, the child will be the first to suffer. Well, I say ,"I can't move the whole class, I'd love to."

My childhood and youth were spent in Donetsk. I studied here, graduated from college, got married, had a child, and started my teaching career. It is a city where all your friends and acquaintances stayed. The city of my childhood.

I am teaching a lesson and then the explosions begin

It's all fresh in my memories. Sometimes I watch  the news, there is an incident, something happened at the intersection of Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Rosa Luxemburg streets. And I remember this place, I know this place. When I look through the photos, I  also recall. We looked at the photos from the New Year 2014. "Donetsk winter" – that is  the inscription on the photo photo. I remember this Christmas tree, I remember Lenin square.

There aren't many relatives left, because most of them had moved away. People who understand and think about the future, about their children, mostly left this city in the hope that one day, maybe, they will have to return.

In 2015, in the winter, on January 19, there were very strong attacks. It was very loud, noisy and scary. In the morning, the school principal called and said that we were not going to class. Classes at the school were suspended for an indefinite period – we were switching to distance learning.

But it  is no good to stay  at home and wait for the projectile to arrive. So we quickly  decided to go somewhere.

We called our relatives. My husband's brother's wife has a child of  the same age as mine. She quickly packed Vova's things, I Packed Lily's things, we loaded it all into the car, I got behind the wheel – and we quickly left.

I am teaching a lesson and then the explosions begin

I said, " Where are we going?” She said: "Let's go to Dnipropetrovsk." I said: "I do not know, the city is big, the city is strange. How are we going to live there?" She said: "Don't worry, everything will be fine." That's how we got here.

Children were immediately enrolled to school, to skip lessons, not to waste precious time. They were in grade 4, graduating from elementary school. We found an apartment and lived in Dnipro for two months.

But then the school in Donetsk started working. The Headmaster called: "When will you come back? Children miss you, go to work." Well, we decided to return to Donetsk.

We arrived – again there was a shelling, again the termination of the educational process, again the child's stress, again this fear. I was teaching lessons, explosions started abruptly, and the children were terrified. And parents were calling me: "Please, take  my child to  the third row instead of the first row from the window?” Because if it shoots, the child will be the first to suffer. Well, I say ,"I can't move the whole class, I'd love to."

When the bombing begins, children hide under their desks… "Children, don't be afraid!” "What was that? What is that sound? " – " It's a pot in the kitchen fell." I lie to them openly. In this rhythm, we worked April-May. After the last school day, we decided to leave until the active fighting stops.

This is not a one-day, one-minute decision. We had to think it over. It was not understandable how it will be here. We had to leave everything  there… I think about my children, I think about my future, how to work, how to survive. After all, we decided to leave.

We decided to come to Dnipro, because my parents live on the border of Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk regions, and as a matter of fact, the distance is equal both from Donetsk and from Dnipro.

We have a migrant cat. It was given to us in Donetsk, and he did not know how to survive in the street. When we were leaving, of course, there was no question whether to take the cat or not, of course, we took it. We bought him a harness and put him in the car. The cat was in a panic. The picture from the window was a street for him. Window, birds, trees, he looked, smiled, went further. And at that moment he was in the car, in panic, hysteria. He ran to hide behind the wheel, climbed on the hands, put his paws on the steering wheel.

Dnipro  became my second home. I'm used to this city. It was hard to get used to it at first, because  there was a new team, a new school, a new apartment. It was not like home,  I didn't like it.

Before the war, there was more confidence in the future, more determination. We didn't even think about what might happen in the future. Here is my family, there is my job – and this is unshakable, it will not go away. But it turned out to be gone.

We could not imagine that this could happen in our city. Therefore, if something starts somewhere, for example, martial law has been imposed, there is panic. It is unconscious, it is somewhere from the depths of the soul coming out, but it is panic. We  think: at least it didn't start here. We look with apprehension at everything that happens in the country. We can never be sure of the future.

Therefore, if there is some stability here, we look at it and value it every day. The day came and it is great that it was quiet.

Once a mother posted information for those who were interested, there was  a Rinat Akhmetov Foundation that helped children, there was project called "Peaceful summer for the children of Donbass".

I am teaching a lesson and then the explosions begin

We were just thinking about where the child would  go on vacation, where the child would  recover, what would  he do all summer, except for instagram. We got in touch with the Foundation  staff, left our contact information. We were told that we could  come, my child could go to that camp.

He liked it, the child was leaving it in tears. The child became more open and sociable, relaxed. Some fears and anxieties disappeared. My daughter became less anxious. There are many friends with whom she still communicates. She then buzzed in our ears for another month, how great it was there. "Will I go there next year?” "Of course you will."

I am teaching a lesson and then the explosions begin

I want peace, I want there to be no martial law, so that all people live calmly and confidently. So that everyone works and gets a decent salary for their work. To make everyone's dreams come true. This is so important when a person dreams of something, and this dream comes true. You feel like you're at a completely different level.

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