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Stories that you confided to us

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Oleksandra and Georgii Yeltsov

"I felt that my hands were wet – it was blood"

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We have been living in Ukraine since 2009. We  used to live in Uzbekistan before. The children grew up, came here to study, they liked living in Ukraine.

 Before the war, my grandson stayed with us all summer. He went to kindergarten, to school, and for two or three months he always rested with me and my husband. And after 2014, they no longer  came here. There were good times before the war when he used to run around here.

I felt that my hands were wet – it was blood

Peaceful life is when relatives communicate, friends communicate. Half the city, if not more, has left. Grandkids and children don't come because there are shootings. Well, without relatives, a return to the old life does not work.

We don't know who fired, why or where. And the first case was when a shell flew through the window and blew up the entire wall, raised the roof. The walls had shifted, and the ceiling in other rooms fell  off.

 At this point, people  don't feel anything, because they  can't immediately figure out what happened. I was sitting quietly under a tree, went into the house-and then a shell exploded.

I had just reached the threshold of the room when a shell exploded. I didn't even know what had happened. The blast threw me up against the ceiling and onto the floor. It was dark. I felt that my hands were wet – it was blood. I was injured.

There were two windows here. They, too, exploded, shattered into pieces. The batteries were  torn off, the TV exploded. All the furniture was broken, nothing was there. In short, a pile of garbage remained from the house. No walls.

 I wondered where my husband was. I couldn't walk. I crawled out into the street and started screaming. Nothing was  visible anywhere. Then I heard him calling me: "Sanya, help me." I said, I could not help him, I was all hurt. I was  he had been hit with boards. He was laying  pale as a wall, and wounded. We were both scared, and we didn't even know what to do.

Well, we then came to their senses relatively. I asked him to show me his wound. He had multiple shrapnel wounds on his body. It was shrapnel from the projectile. And there were three deep holes on the left side of the body. And there was a big hole in my leg, too. I was covered with glass. Glass was sticking out all over the body.

My husband was sitting under an apple tree, smoking. He was hit, covered with firewood, boards. There were bricks. It's all gone, too. There was a shed-it was bombed.

 We have been living  with these fragments for five years. I pulled out about 18 fragments  from his body,  al  of them like a match head.

I felt that my hands were wet – it was blood

I was told that there was no point in cutting out three fragments, because they are small, and if they are cut out, the whole body will be cut up. When I have the chest x – rays, they say that I have iron inside. I say that there are fragments. My wife got more. She's had several surgeries. I am more or less ok.


My right side was completely blocked. I was all black. Well, they anointed me at the hospital, they gave me injections. And I lived with this until 2018. And then the problems started. It turns out that the hit  collapsed my lung. It was all very difficult. My condition was very serious.

I felt that my hands were wet – it was blood

Then I had to have a lung operation at the Amosov Institute in Kyiv. My daughter brought me to the hospital and forced to receive treatment.

 I felt afraid, and I had the impression that I would not come back here. The end. But after the hospital, we thought, that we  already were in our seventieth, we were left homeless, without anything. I offered my husband to go home.

 When we arrived there was no water in the city. There was light, but no water at all. We bought bottled water. We  raised the wall. My husband built it himself. We built the wall ourselves, plastered it, and insulated it. I made the gables myself. Other people helped us with the roof.

 We sit under the apple tree and work in the garden. We already prepared it, dug up. The garden feeds us. We can't do without it.

Now there are plenty of problems in every family. There is no gas, no drinking water, we have technical water. We buy water for drinking. We have small pension. We need to stock up on firewood, and we need to buy coal to survive. Many families are in need because there is no work in the city. And life goes on, we have to live.

When people die, that's the worst thing. The broken wall can be restored. Over time, children will help, furniture and other things  can be bought. But one can't buy life, and people die.

 I want people to come back, so that our grandchildren and children can come to us, and so that life gets better.

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
Krasnogorivka 2014 Text Civilian's stories pensioners 2014 destroyed or damaged housing wounded shelling health the first day of the war
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