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Stories that you confided to us

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Natalia Kirik
age: 45
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"I could never go back"

She and her family survived a dreadful shelling in one of the hottest spots in Donbass - Peski. Her son has lost his hearing. Their house is destroyed. They managed to evacuate on the very last bus without taking anything with them.

My whole family - mom, son, and me left as we were and took only documents. This was all we have to this day. We no longer have housing, since the village was practically destroyed.

Our village Peski was wonderful, I lived there all my life to the age of forty. I have not seen anything better, have not heard and do not know. The memories were the best and very bright.

The war broke out, it eventually burst in. Somewhere from April-May 2014, we heard explosions. They were far away. But they were quite regular.

July 18, 2014 - the day of the shelling of the village from “Grads”, especially the center, our three-story buildings. It started in the morning and lasted until night in several phases.

The sound from the “Grads” was incredible, a whistle, a noise. I haven't heard that before. I couldn't even imagine. And when I helped my mother into the basement and looked around, the roof parts were gone. In the next house, in the middle there was a hole, it was burning. And when we were leaving the basement, the ceiling literally fell on us in pieces.

I could never go back

The evacuation began, of which we did not even know about at first. And by the last bus we were evacuated from the basement, although I did not want to go. I was hoping to return, because I expected it to be over. It couldn’t continue, but I could never come back.

My whole family - mom, son, and me left as we were and took only documents. This was all we have to this day. We no longer have housing, since the village was practically destroyed.

So I really regret that I did not take at least a picture. There would be some kind of memory. It was hurting at first, but over time I calmed down. I reproach myself that I had to take more things, but at that moment and in such a state of shock ...

Moreover, everyday problems were depressing, I wished we took a bottle to cut it and make a sort of a cup. Or take some clothing to change at least. To be able to take off these clothes and wash them somewhere under a tap. But we had nothing with us.

And so we were searching in humanitarian aid together with other people for something, at least a sheet or a shirt, to put on ourselves. And these problems took two weeks.

Natalia Kirik, Peski, Donetsk region

But the stress was huge for the child as well. At that moment I did not understand that he had a severe hearing impairment. I thought it was only stress, nerves, psychology. I was busy with other things. I learned that he had lost his hearing in Mariupol.

The doctor made a diagnosis - bilateral sensory hearing loss. And it can’t be treated, although we tried to cure. We put droppers, but the auditory nerve was not cured.

How will it go on? Most often it develops and leads to deafness. Whatever God is willing.

My son is 14 years old. He doesn't make any plans; he lives for today. It is unpleasant for him to talk and remember the war, that he is deprived of everything. So, he does not want to talk about it, he chases away these thoughts from himself.

We can say that the church and the school are the only things that somehow keep us afloat, so as we do not go crazy and die. So, now he is at school. Learning goes on with joy. Of course, it is easier for him there, among friends, among peers.

Natalia Kirik, Peski, Donetsk region

It is more difficult for him with us. And in such conditions (he also recalls), he is not used to it. He can't invite friends. He had a birthday, I gave him something, but, of course, He can’t invite guests, but he would like to.

And things others have, he would like to have, for example, a computer. He remembers that he had one at home. He feels inferiority, of course, about this. But I can’t help him. All that I can, I do. Maybe even more than I can.

We don't have relatives anywhere. If there were relatives somewhere, we might have ended up there, but ... And some kopecks only began to appear after, probably, three or four months, when the documents arrived. We requested documents from Mariupol.

The very first aid came from the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. These were the grocery bags. I think, it was either the very end of August, or the beginning of September 2014 - this is the first time [ we received "survival kits"]. And it was very good grocery support for us. And the first time we got it often, I think, in a month or two.

Then, I remember, several times Akhmetov also helped us. In addition to food, I also received hygiene items. So, I can say, this was almost the only help. Although I remember that either the Red Cross, or some other organization [helped]. But Akhmetov is still helping – from the beginning until now he helps with food sets.

If I die, I don’t want it to be with severe pain. And I understand that, probably, it will have to be under someone else's roof. I see no way out. I try, of course, not to cry about this. It won’t help at all anything ... I try to do what I can.

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