I took off my rose-colored glasses 8 years ago. I understood that Russia would not stop. Putin does not need our territories – he wants to wipe us as a nation off the face of the earth. But all that time I lived somewhere in the middle between peace and war.
I lived as long as Severodonetsk lived. Now it is in the hands of invaders. Everything that is not destroyed has stopped. Only now, the occupation authorities have allowed pensioners to clear away the rubble. But not everyone was allowed. Only those who applied for pensions. This is such an insidious tool.
According to Serhiy Haidai, the head of the Luhansk OVA, only 200 citizens of the 8,000 people who remained in the city have applied. However, whether they will be paid their pensions remains unknown. The main thing for Russians is to collect personal data.
I do not know whether life will return to Severodonetsk. When we were leaving, I said to my daughter: “Look out the window. Maybe it’s the last time you see the city.” If we hadn’t done it, we probably wouldn’t be alive anymore – a shell hit our apartment.
So we became fugitives from death. Today we are in Poland, a brotherly country that has welcomed us like family. We learn to live on. There are many of us and we are really different. But there is something that unites us. We believe that the fire in the hearts of Ukrainians cannot be extinguished.
Video is prepared within the project “Countering Disinformation in Southern and Eastern Ukraine” funded by the European Union.