Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Olga Prosiannykova
"When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant"

After the house got a lot of fragments, the husband with his wife and two children with one suitcase of things went to Dymytriv, to their parents. Husband returned to Donetsk, where he worked, and tried to take out the family car. As a result, he got to the penal military unit – you had to pay a lot of money to get away. She found her husband, took both him and the car against all odds and returned to her parents in Dymytriv. It turned out that the woman was four months pregnant. The child had pathologies upon birth and is still being treated. The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation was very supportive with medication.

For the first time in my life, I saw my husband cry and thank me for saving him. It is not for nothing that people say that a woman will enter a burning hut and stop a horse on-the-go. This is just about me.

On this day, 11 May 2014, I bought another apartment. I wanted to provide each child with their own living space, especially since I have two of them.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

One child already had an apartment. No it was the second child's turn. I can afford it. I had a good job and good earnings. But if I had known that the war would begin soon , I would never have gone to buy a house, having invested in it all the capital that I have accumulated over the years.

"We thought it was fireworks. How wrong we were!"

15 May 2014. Looking at the TV screen, I couldn't believe that it was happening. But life in our Donbass was still normal, ordinary. Sometimes when I watched TV, I could not believe what was going on. I tried to protect my children from viewing.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

31 May 2014. I will never forget this day. My relatives came to see me. We started seeing some flashes in the evening. Children thought it was fireworks. But how profoundly wrong they were!

We were all standing on the street, and all the neighbors were looking at the sky, not understanding what was happening. It was the beginning. My neighbor Masha calmed me down, and the children cried. Then flashes, explosions followed. Oh, my mother's terrified eyes...

"Our pride, the airport, was destroyed in a matter of days"

Fighting at the airport was the beginning. The airport is a beautiful and very complex project that architects have been working on for many years.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

My husband worked at Altcom at the time. He lay asphalt there. Everything was destroyed in a matter of days.

"Now it is completely ruined,

the former take-off runway,

and burned tanks 

are here instead of planes.

The war came here.  

The steppes tremble around

From explosions and screams

of young men.

The cold wind is tearing

my heart to pieces.

Ruins of the terminal were

like a ghost from night terrors.

Our fellows died here

in a bloody queue.  

Then everything passed.

Only a flag covered in blood


"People were picked up just at the bus stop, many did not return"

My children and I were scared for the whole July.

On this day, I saw a bus from the window of our house, from which a large number of military men with machine guns got out. They indiscriminately began to grab men and drag them into the bus by force.

At that time, there were miners on their way to work at the bus stop, and to this day many of them have not returned. No one knows where they were taken... I dreaded the future existence of my family.

"I asked my husband to drive the car to the garage"

6 July 2014. That morning I was preparing for my mother's birthday and baking a cake  as if nothing had happened. In the evening, I asked my husband to drive the car to the garage, it was 06:00 p.m. In connection with the latest events, I was very worried about my Hyundai Santa Fe as the number of vehicle hijackings increased. Our garage was located 50 meters from our house.

At 10:00 p.m. the phone did not answer (it was disconnected), my husband was not there, I and the children were all jumpy. I got dressed and went to the garage with them. Everything was closed, no one was around. I find out from neighbors – they say they heard shots and sounds of wheels, braking.

"Husband lost consciousness in the traumatology unit. He was bleeding heavily"

I was on the thorn all night. I can't sleep. I called my mother and my best friend Andrii. Something had to be done. But where should we have run to? Where should we have looked at? We found him in the hospital.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

Two gunshot wounds, the whole car was shot at, but it was parked outside the hospital. It turned out that when he was driving to the garage when he was stopped by military men wearing masks and carrying machine guns. They told us to get out and leave, and they took the car for their own needs.

Husband hit the gas pedal and tried to run away from the militants at the speed of sound. They returned fire and tried to catch up in their car. Husband managed to escape. Bleeding profusely, he barely made it to the emergency room in trauma and lost consciousness there.

We were just shocked when we found him in the hospital, my mother was screaming like mad, "What will happen to the children!" He managed to survive. We immediately packed up for the first time and went to my mother's house, in Dymytriv, as it seemed, for a short time.

"Products in stores were disappearing at the speed of sound" 

12 July 2014. I had to return to Donetsk because my husband was still in the hospital. It was necessary to repair the destroyed car in order to drive it to mother Children stayed with her.

Food products began to disappear from store shelves at the speed of sound. This also applies even to cleaning products. The stores were like those in the USSR – a time with empty shelves.

"The girl replied calmly, "We are dying"

16 July 2014. My disabled grandmother lived next door to me.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

She could not walk. She was the guardian of a 10-year-old girl. Her parents had died. When I went to her apartment to see if I could help her with food or something, I was shocked. The only food in their house was bread and water.

The girl Karyna took all the responsibilities on herself. I bathed my grandmother, washed clothes, and cooked food.

When I asked if they starved, the girl calmly replied, "We are dying." I didn't leave this family and tried my best to help.

I periodically went to Dymytriv, then to Donetsk. So I lived in two cities. I couldn't leave my apartment, but I didn't take my children with me, they were with my mother.

"Looting of apartments and houses began"

5 August 2014. I couldn't wait for my husband to get out of the hospital to pick him up and leave town. The real lawlessness began in Makiivka. People did not receive their salaries and social payments. Looting of apartments and houses began...

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

The police were no longer there at that time. There was no one to turn to. Whoever has a machine gun is right. Cars and minibuses were selected.

By that time, I had already moved one car to my mother's. A tinted Volkswagen T4 minibus remained. I was very upset. My husband was discharged, and we went to Dymytriv, but without a car. It didn't start if you didn't know the secret…

"There was nothing left of the house — only a lot of death"

13 August 2014. My dear husband had to return to Donetsk for work.

I was afraid to let him go, so I went with him. And it was a climax of armed hostilities here. A shell flew into the next house. There was nothing left of the house. There were a lot of deaths.

We put out house by house. Fragments were everywhere in the house; windows were blown out; the car was hit by shards. I was so shocked!

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

Praise be to God, children weren't with us! It's just a nightmare to sit endlessly in the neighbors' cellar. Sister stayed in the bomb shelter. Cars and people abruptly disappeared from the city. Everyone who stayed was afraid to go out. Smarter people left in their cars.

I saw people pulling TVs, cars, furniture from the windows of the house. Looting began to flourish. I thought again about housing: if I left, who would look after it? And everything I've earned over the years was taken away in one moment.

I'm going to Dymytriv to live with my children. We need to get the older son ready for school. He will go to School No. 4 where I used to study. So I left...

"There were a lot of children at the school assembly"

1 September 2014. My child Ruslan went to school.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

There were a lot of children at the assembly. 70% of students are displaced children who, like us, left the war.

I met my former classmates and schoolmates who moved to live in Horlivka, Donetsk, Debaltseve, Spartak, Pisky and who, by coincidence, were forced to return to their hometown of Dymytriv.

The displaced children felt comfortable at school. The child in the new school even liked it very much even though he really missed my friends.

"My husband's phone has been disconnected for three days"

9 September 2014. I remember this day well! My husband stopped answering his phone. "My husband's phone has been disconnected for three days".

I was worried sick. It felt somehow strange, my blood pressure started to rise. I had loss of strength. "It is because of the nerves," I decided. I waited another day and go to find my husband in Donetsk.

10 September 2014. I was afraid to go alone, especially by car. I gathered four people, my husband's relatives,and we went to Donetsk together. I took my children with me — we would go faster with them.

"My husband was sent to the penal battalion"

When we came home to Donetsk, I asked the neighbors, who may have seen my husband. Indeed, we saw it four days ago. He got into the van and drove away. He didn't go back.

I was so shocked that had disappeared again with the car. During this time, we had a lot of roadblocks at the entrances and exits from the city, so my car could not leave unnoticed! That was good. I drove around all the roadblocks, pointing at the photo of the minibus. I was told at the eighth checkpoint that they saw him four days ago. They said that he was rude to the military, so they took him and the car to the penal battalion.

"Military men opened the machine with crowbars"

It took a lot of effort to find the place where my husband was. It was a closed military unit. The person in charge was called. I outlined the situation and went to the territory of the unit with the children by my side. Walking along the part, I saw a bunch of new luxury cars.

By the way the soldiers tried to open them with crowbars, I can say with confidence that these machines were simply squeezed out. I also saw my minibus, which was standing with the hood open, and its soldiers tried to start it, but there was no luck, since it starts with a car key fob. If it wasn't for this fob, I probably wouldn't have seen the car again.

"When I saw the chief, I fainted"

They took me through some dark corridors, then checked the children with a metal detector, too.

I entered the office and saw his terrible face. I knew right away that he was in charge. He was ugly, black, dirty, smelly, with a small beard. From what I saw and from the smells standing there, I became ill, I vomited, and then I lost consciousness.

It was good that there was a first-aid post. A nurse came running and took my blood pressure. It was very low, and she gave me an injection. 

"You can take your husband, but we won't give you the car"

My husband was brought in with his hands behind his back. He was the dirty. He had bruises under the eyes. As I understood, they took him only because he said that it was lawless when they tried to take the car (this time a minibus Volkswagen T4), as they told my husband, for the needs of the DPR. However, he didn't agree as usual!

They told me that you can take your husband, but they won't give the car as a reparation.

I didn't agree, of course! I am the owner, it is my car, what other grounds are we even talking about? I was told that it was for my sake. They said the protected the city by "laying down their lives". It just killed me. I replied, "Did I and my children ask you to do this? I lived and worked until you came along. Why should I pay with my property?!"

"It was the first time I saw my husband cry"

In short, it was two hours of stupid conversation with a stupid person. I lost consciousness a couple of times during this time. And finally, he realized on the third hour of communication that I would not leave without a car. I would stay there as long as it took me to get it.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

I was given the keys and documents from my minibus. We started the car and left! For the first time in my life, I saw my husband cry and thank me for saving him.

It is not for nothing that people say that a woman will enter a burning hut and stop a horse on-the-go.  This is just about me.

"Relatives buy out their own people for a lot of money"

Later my husband told me that there are a large number of people like him. Some of them are bought out by relatives for a lot of money. They are mostly police chiefs and businessmen – those who have enough money to pay off.

My husband didn't eat for three days. He got only water. He slept on the concrete floor and answered the call of nature right where he was. I heard someone being beaten at night, probably tortured.

I can't imagine what would have happened to him if I hadn't come. That's how the war came into our lives.

"It turned out that I was pregnant!"

12 September 2014. We left our city to live with my mother in Dymytriv. I went to the hospital because I was very worried about losing consciousness. And I was not mistaken. It turned out that I was pregnant. The term was four months.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

I was so shocked! Two children, the war… Bringing another child to the world like this seemed impossible? However, it was too late now — the term was too big, so we decided to keep the baby.

8 February 2015. That day was my birthday. Hurray! Everyone was congratulating me. A friend of mine was going to come in the evening with a cake – to drink tea. It was strange, but the 'pregnancy' symptoms bothered me all morning. I got into the car before I fed all the children and said that I went to buy some bread.

"The child was born with many pathologies"

I arrived at the hospital and gave birth 15 minutes later. That was my birthday present. I was so happy! But my happiness did not last for long.

My baby was born with multiple pathologies. Doctors told me that triggered by this constant stress and horror I had to live through.

My world turned completely upside down from that moment on. Then treatment and various diagnoses began... Kiriusha was born with multiple pathologies of both internal organs and upper limbs.

"The Foundation bought expensive medicines for him"

The brain had many pathologies. To start it, we needed to buy expensive medication.

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

We did not have money at that time, so I contacted the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. I was not denied! In 2015, the Foundation gave me money for a course for three months. We deeply appreciate this!

To date, Kiriusha has undergone three difficult operations to partially restore the upper limbs (thanks to caring people). They still have to be plentiful in order for the child to live at least partially, but not completely, a full life.

"Your help is a breath of fresh air"

When I returned my husband from captivity, I found out that I was pregnant

4 September 2017. Today I received assistance as part of the Help program initiated by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation. It was very timely and very good help, which is vital not only for my family, but also for many other families.

Many displaced people, like me, have lost all their property and are left on the street with nothing, and every help from the Foundation is a breath of fresh air for them. I often saw old people cry when they got help. After all, for them, as for all of us, this is an invaluable support in such a difficult time.

Dear Rinat Leonidovich!

I would like to express my gratitude with all my heart

And in return say my words to you,

That you didn't pass the trouble by,

That your help was very timely.

Being in sad hopelessness

 With three children, with an infant in my arms,

 Invisible roads led me

 to the place where help is certain...

They led me to beautiful sensitive people,

Who extended their  helping hand right away.

They will help solve terrible problems,

They will do it for no good reason.

Your support is simple as salvation,

Not knowing what I would do without You.

Sometimes the life current might sweep us off our feet,

But we will withstand it grasefully.

Thank You for your profound support!

Thank you for your good deeds.

I can tell you how excited I am

To express this gratitude:

Let all the good return to you as an echo,

For all the good that you have done.

God bless you and your family!

Let the path before you was easy!

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