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Stories that you confided to us

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Tamara Chyhrina

"I ran across the bridge when everything exploded"

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I have been living in the village of Chernenko for 30 years. When the war broke out in 2014, a checkpoint was set here. At first, there were no heavy attacks. Shots were fired from somewhere, and we heard whistling over our heads. Certainly, we did not understand the danger at the time.

I ran across the bridge when everything exploded

Then a few months later, the attacks started every day, night and day. We didn't have time to change basements. I remember I would go Orlovske for corn. I saw heavy smoke on the way. The driver got scared and didn't go any further. I ran across the bridge when everything exploded. Houses burned. There's smoke everywhere. I got scared, of course. I had commotion of the nerves at the time.

I ran across the bridge when everything exploded

 On this day, two bulls, 20 turkeys, chickens, and geese were killed by fragments. The husband was standing and filling the car with diesel fuel… And then the shelling started. A fragment hit him in the pocket! I still don't know how it didn't wound him. They fell to the ground — my husband and another man. Shrapnel flew around.

 A shell exploded nearby our house. The neighbour's wall fell,  and the fragments tumbled here. The house was ruined. Now starlings make nests there. There's a hole on the second floor. There were two huge holes in the garden behind the chimney.

I ran across the bridge when everything exploded

In 2015, a shell hit the barn directly. 30 tons of hay were burned. There was also a stack behind the hayloft. Everything burned down. Chickens burned down. We were sitting in the basement when the shelling attack started. Then the explosion followed, and I heared cracking sounds. I said, " The Hay is burning." I wanted to get out right away, but they wouldn't let me. Then soldiers came and helped us. There was a checkpoint located here. They saw that I was burning. I get upset when I tell this story.

 And in 2014, either a shell or a mine were found in the field. I don't know what it was. Once a cow blew up. Cows ran along the landing – and one cow was blown up. Such a loss! A terrible loss.

 I would like to express my gratitude to Rinat Akhmetov for his support. The packages have everything we need — vegetable oil and flour. He is a good lad. I thank him for that. People don't have any money. If you need a surgery, you may refer to him, he will help.

I am waiting for the war to come to an end. This is the most important thing for me right now. Everything was put on hold due to the war. I wish everything would return to normal, back to the way it was.

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
Chernenko 2014 Text Civilian's stories
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