Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Olha Kudelko

"We lost everything we had in an hour"

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We have lived here since 1982 when we bought this house. We held a farmstead – a cow, pigs. So we were very busy in vegetable gardens. We kept five gardens each. That is how we pulled through. We also had my mother's pension.

We lost everything we had in an hour

Shelling could last for a week. A shell fell into the car, then into my mother's bedroom and on the second floor. Our old house was also damaged. A window fell out completely on the third floor. Then another shell fell. And I looked up and saw the roof burning 

We lost everything we had in an hour

Relatives called the Fire Department, but it didn't come. So we carried buckets of water to the third floor. I climbed in with the buckets. It was so dark that we couldn't see anything. I opened the hatch to the attic and poured water to the areas that were burning the most. I closed my eyes and didn't breathe. We tried to put out the fire, but we couldn't do it. Everything was burning.

We had no clothes, nothing. All our things burned to the ground. We lost everything overnight.

We had wooden floors. The co-father-in-law came by. He wanted to take me out, and I said, "Go, mother..." My mother was in the other room. Luckily, he pulled us out. He barely got him out of the house. If he hadn't, we probably would have died.

We lost everything we had in an hour

Son Serhii collected the ladder himself. They bought balusters at the market, and he collected them with his own hands. I fixed window sills. Now we have nothing. We can't look at it because it was all so dear to us. When we were building, our soul flew to heaven, we were happy. We really tried. And now we have nothing

My mother was 77 years old. She was an orphan. Her mother died when she was a month old. A year later, Father passed away, too. To be left without anything in your old age is so hard. I don't have any health right now either. I can't even work the garden. I used to plant potatoes, but I couldn't plant any more. I can't bend down or carry anything heavy – I'm suffocating. We were sick cripples without a home, without anything.

We are now living with our son. We come here and feed our dogs and cats. One cat died here. Two remained alive. We also have dogs. It was so hard. It's very hard to come here.

We dream to get our own home, so that we would a place to stay in our old age

When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:

The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Verkhnyotoretske 2016 Video Civilian's stories women pensioners destroyed or damaged housing health housing
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