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Stories that you confided to us

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Marharyta Leonova

"When I opened my eyes and I realised that there was no ceiling"

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We lived in the village of Nevelske, Donetsk Oblast, Yasynuvata District. We had a good life. We  worked very hard. Children went to school, to kindergarten until the war began.

When I opened my eyes and I realised that there was no ceiling

A shell hit the house on 8 August 2015. I went for a walk with the children. We went into the house at 06:30. The children wanted to watch cartoons, so I turned on cartoons for them in the hall. Half an hour later, at 07:00, a shell hit the house directly.

When I opened my eyes and I realised that there was no ceiling. There was a lot of black smoke. I couldn't see anything. I came to my senses when someone started slapping me.

I saw soldiers. I couldn't say a word. Then I heard my mother screaming in the street. I point out that the babies were in the other bedroom. They've been looking for them for a long time. It was the first shell in the village, and it hit our house.

The eldest son was outside with Mother. Luckily, only his leg was wounded. They heard a shell somewhere close. The kids and I didn't hear that, because we the TV was on. It was quiet. We were told, "When you hear any shots, you have to run."

My middle son Maksym was found lying under debris. We could see only his legs. We searched for Ivan for a long time. When we found him, he had no pulse.

The youngest son, who had no signs of life at all, woke up only on the fourth day after that. Praise be to God that he is alive. Doctors fixed his head. He learned to walk and eat again. Now, praise be to God, he can run and smile. His head and face were stitched up. He also had a problem with his leg. He's limping now.

When I opened my eyes and I realised that there was no ceiling

Maksym had a concussion. Now I have two disabled children. They lag behind in development. They sometimes behave inappropriately. Not all children want to play with them.

When I opened my eyes and I realised that there was no ceiling

Doctors say different things. I just don't want to believe them sometimes. Some say they will outgrow this. And others say that it may get even worse. Well, thank God, the children attend a regular kindergarten and a regular school, not school for the disabled.

It is very difficult. I understand both teachers and caregivers. It must be so hard for them. I need to look after them. Maksym is reserved. He is sometimes aggressive. On such days teachers call me. I also receive calls from the kindergarten with similar observations. We often see different doctors. They prescribe sedatives for the children. But also I don't want to stuff the child with pills all the time.

I want them to learn, to go with all the children to a normal school, to a normal kindergarten. Well, then we'll see what to do. I just want things go back to normal. I wish the situation didn't get worse.

When I opened my eyes and I realised that there was no ceiling

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 https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Nevelske 2015 Video Civilian's stories
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