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Stories that you confided to us

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Taisiya Borodkina

‘We must bear everything that God sends us. And so, I do bear’

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Taisiya Mykolaivna Borodkyna, 76 years old:

This is my life. These are old textbooks. “Geometry for 10-11 forms”, “Mathematics in concepts and definitions”. This is about scientists. It contains the history of mathematics. However, the funniest thing is that an old woman at the age of 76 decided to go for studies!

The probability theory was not taught when I was a student. There was no such a subject then. Well, I’m wondering how is this so? Students of 10-11 forms come. I understand the probability theory, relying on the textbook, at the level of a C-grade student, but this is not enough. A teacher should know more. And so, I study the theory of probability.

‘We must bear everything that God sends us. And so, I do bear’

Firstly, to be able to help if students come for help. Secondly, not to have a gap in my knowledge.

I don’t give private lessons. I don’t take money. I am an old-fashioned person. We never took money in the past. And then, what kind of private tutor am I? I am an outmoded person. I teach the way I used to teach. There may be other requirements now.

I am a religious person. Unfortunately, I became a believer quite late, but I have been a church person for some 20 years now.

Therefore, I look at this war like this: I do not accuse anyone and do not justify anyone. This is none of my business. We must bear everything that God sends us. And I do bear. The main thing is for us not to cling into each other’s throats, not to wish any harm to each other.

I have three granddaughters. Everything is far from us. Now it’s only me and my son here. And all our fellow villagers are my assistants, they help me in everything. Easter is coming and so one fellow villager brought me two dozen eggs free: ‘Here you are. It is Easter.’ And people know that my son is ill, so whoever has a farm or some livestock, they give us something. Three years ago, I farmed 30 ares of a vegetable garden and planted some vegetables. Now I can only farm two ares of land near the house, and even that is difficult for me.

Those neighbours who have some livestock bring me something. They brought me the first tomatoes and cucumbers. People do help. I am an old-timer here. I have been living here since 1963. All people treat me very well.

I count every penny, and now we have many shops, I go to the one where it is cheaper and buy there. I wouldn’t have done this before. That is, I accepted these conditions. There are no others, which means I need to adopt to these conditions. I do not scold anyone, I do not blame anyone.

I get my pension regularly. It is 1,750 hryvnias. And Mykola, my son, had big problems in connection with these events. Two years ago, when it all just started, he was not receiving his pension for five months because he had to re-register or re-apply. Then it was paid off. That’s all right. We survived.

Basically, a lot of money is spent on medicines. We live on and I don’t want to complain. We are not starving yet. We don’t need clothes. He doesn’t need it, he’s lying, and I haven’t worn out my old clothes. So, thank God. There are people who are worse off.

The most challenging thing is my son’s health. Because he has been ill for 12 years, and now he has got some complications. I can endure the rest. I live for my son. If not for my disabled son, I would probably have gone to other worlds, but I understand that I cannot. What will he do without me? I can’t [leave him].

Mykola Derkach, Taisiya’s disabled son:

‘We must bear everything that God sends us. And so, I do bear’

My registration is in Horlivka town. No one will deal with it; no one will re-register me here. I cannot live alone at the place of my registration, even if it is calm and quiet there. The 9th floor, I will not be able to live there on my own... Here people helped me more or less, made me a crossbar, a frame, customized or adapted something to my needs.


Sing, sing, my guitar,

I dream about you, my Donbass,

Remember your faithful son friendly

As I remember you now.     

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
Gorlovka 2016 Video Civilian's stories pensioners safety and life support people with disabilities poor
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