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Stories that you confided to us

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Tetiana and great-grandson Serhii Serdiuk

"When the war ends, we will go home"

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Tetiana Serdiuk:

I worked as a postman. I worked in several villages. Every day I went to the center of our collective farm, to the post office to bring people mail, pensions to pensioners. One day, we saw military equipment passing by in our village. We saw tanks. The traffic was bad. There were Grads. Three cars drove up, fired for a while and went away. We realized that something bad had begun.

When the war ends, we will go home

It was terrible. It was like a nightmare. It was terrible. We had to sit in the basement and hide the children, as well as ourselves. We were terrified.

Our granddaughter graduated from university and married a local boy. Telephone lines weren't cut off at that time. And when they started to aim at the fields, she saw all this and said, "So, grandma, we are going to Mariupol. We've already found you housing. Don't be afraid of anything." I had to give up everything. I just took some bags and left.

We came under fire even on the way. Glass on the windows crashed. And it wasn't just our house. Others got damaged as well. And the roof was damaged very badly.

They took a man to be buried. And as soon as they buried this man, people were going to get on the bus when shelling started. People died in the cemetery. It was terrible when we heard it.

How do we live? We have to change houses all the time. This is the third house we've stayed in. We keep all our things in the bags. It was late at night when we arrived here in 2014. The next morning, we met our  neighbors. People helped us with what they could. The residents of Sartana were very friendly at once.

When the war ends, we will go home

We had no documents required for school with us. I forgot a lot of other documents at home. I went to the headmaster, and she said, "It's no big deal. Bring the child. It will be Ok." So the child went to school here.

Great-grandson Serhii:

When the war ends, we will go home

I love my grandmother. If it wasn't for her, I don't know where I'd be right now. I help my grandmother in every possible way. I can clean up, chop wood, etc. I can sit with my grandmother, talk, drink tea, so that she would not be bored.

When the war ends, we will go home

When I come home from school, she always greets me with joy. She taught me good manners. She explained that life ahead is not as easy as it seems. The fact that there will still be many obstacles on my way that will need to be overcome. I try to listen to her. After all, she is an older person, and she knows more. We reassure each other that everything will be fine, and the war will end.

When the war ends, we will go home

When we sat in the basement, shells literally flew over our heads. We spent weeks in the basement.

This was bad. Thousands of innocent people are being killed. Such death is horrible. You know what they say, war brings  great destruction.

Tetiana Serdiuk:

I haven't seen my husband for six months. When we arrived here in Sartana, about a month later, we noticed that he started talking. Then it got worse. He didn't know what he was doing. And he left us in 2015.

When the war ends, we will go home

While I was making pancakes, he was still there. He said, "While you're in the kitchen with pancakes, I'll go chop wood." They are in the yard. 15-20 minutes passed, I finished making pancakes, went out, and he was already gone. We've been looking for him for a month. It was 23 February, and he left. And on 22 March, we found him.

We searched all over Sartana. We taped his photos everywhere, his phone number. Even in Mariupol. Well, one day a woman called us, "You know," she says, " About 3-4 days ago, a man with with a begging bow came to  our store. I've seen the photos, I think it's your husband."

We took a taxi with my granddaughter and rushed there. Yes!" He recognised us and started crying. I hugged him. He was crying. "Where are you going?" He shrugged, "I don't know." We went to the hospital together. Doctors told us that his central nervous system wasn't functioning normally. It's all because of these bombings. This fear and the bombing affected. I was told that he won't recover.

Unfortunately, he is not around us any more. He was sitting on a bench in our yard, and I was in the garden. We have locks on the gate and on the gate. The grandson goes to school, and I lock the door. When he comes home, he calls me to open the door. So I go and open it. The gate was closed all the time. The guys came and called him to play. They often went to fish crayfish in the river. There is a river not far from where we live. Well, I let my grandson go with the boys, but he left the gate open.

When he came from the river, he said, "Grandma, where's grandpa?" I said, "What? On a bench in the yard." "No, I went into the house, and he was not there either." So we started looking for him. We searched for him in Sartana. We couldn't find him anywhere. I went to the police and filed a report. They checked in the computer and said, "Oh, he has already left you more than once." I said, "Unfortunately, yes.

And my heart told me that there are still good people who can help. Maybe someone saw that he was sick. Maybe some good people took him in. I only hope so. I will be very grateful to those people who still respond, say that they have seen it or that they have it. I only hope so. I don't want to think about bad things. And if, God forbid, he died, then of course, I would like to give him a proper burial.

When the war ends, we will go home

We dream that the war will end, and Seryozha's mother will come. And we will finally meet. And grandfather is about to be found. I want to, we hope that he will be found. When the war ends, we will go home. Everything will be fine. After all, war can't last forever. People will rise again and be happy. It was hard, and it's still hard. We hope for the best.

Horbatenko 2014 2015 Video Civilian's stories pensioners children 2014 moving psychological injury shelling safety and life support health housing single parent families elderly (60+) the first day of the war Separation from loved ones
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