Severodonetsk, Luhansk region
How did you experience war in 2014? What do you remember from that? How old were you? How did 2014-2015 go for you?
In the spring of 2014, I was 13 years old. I turned 14 in the summer, in June. At the end of February and the beginning of March 2014, rallies were held in Severodonetsk under russian flags. I don't know a single person who went there to chant for russia, except for my classmate's mother, but they are imbeciles, so I'm not surprised. After these events, everything seemed to calm down, but the atmosphere was tense, there was constant gossiping around. Even at school, many of my teachers spread lots of misinformation to the students, which they got from their acquaintances, and they got it from their acquaintances, and so on.
On April 29, 2014, I was with my parents in Luhansk for the last time. It was a very cozy family trip. There was a feeling that everything would be fine, Crimea was not occupied, there would be no "LDNR". I remembered that at that time there were a lot of posters with grigori leps on the road to Luhansk and in the city itself, and parents were wondering if this old drunk would come to give a concert or not. A few days later, the center of Luhansk got shelled.
In Severodonetsk at that time - God knows what was happening. One evening, not far from my house, terrorists in a car went, as some acquaintances told me (I don't know from whom they learned), to extort money from a businessman and started burst mode firing into the air. About two weeks passed, the morning was a very anxious one, but still my parents sent me to school. There were very few students from our class - not even half - but we sat in the computer science class and discussed the latest events among ourselves. Suddenly we were told that we were getting dismissed and we all should go home, a commotion began. There was panic on the street, planes were flying (I don't even know whose). Later, we were informed that the academic year will end earlier than planned and that next week we have to come in for our last day. We were already under occupation, but eleventh graders came wearing blue and yellow graduation ribbons. That was strong.
On June 4, my whole family woke up at 5 in the morning from the explosions. There were battles outside the city. After that, the family decided that I should be taken to a more or less peaceful place - to my aunt. I really didn't want to leave home, leave my parents, grandfather and friends, but I was 14 years old and I couldn’t decide anything. My parents stayed in the city all the way until deoccupation. Mom went to work while rockets flew in the sky. The next month and a half were the most terrible in my life at the time, because I did not know what would happen to my parents and whether I would be able to return home.
Now in 2022, it's even worse and, unfortunately, it's not even the end yet.
"Where were you these 8 years?". How has this time passed for you, what changed in your life since the events of 2014? What has influenced you the most during this time?
During these 8 years, my attitude towards russia worsened every day, but my russophobia is still not enough.
In 2014, I was deeply affected by a tragedy that happened to a friend of our family. When the russians shelled Lysychansk, one of the shells landed in his mother's backyard. It killed her. It was a huge grief for his family.
Several years ago, my parents joined the Armed Forces, so I knew that during these 8 years there was no "silence mode" on the part of the "ldnr". They constantly violated the Minsk agreements, shelling our positions and civilian objects, many of our soldiers were seriously injured during these 8 years.
Як ви зустріли 24 лютого 2022 року? Чи вірили в те, що повномасштабний наступ почнеться? Де ви зараз? Чим займаєтесь? Що думаєте про своє майбутнє зараз?
On February 24, 2022, I stayed up until 3 a.m. watching Attack on Titan. I even thought of watching it up until 8 am, but then I decided that I was tired, set the alarm clock for 10 am and went to bed. Around 5:30, my mother called me, and I immediately knew that something had happened. She said that grandma called her and said that Kharkiv was getting shelled. I don't know how she found out about this at 5 in the morning, since she herself was in Severodonetsk. I told my mother that for us everything was quiet and thought about going back to sleep, but then decided to open the window and heard explosions. 30 seconds after my mother's call, I was calling her back saying, "You know what, we are actually under fire." The alarm clock rang at 10, when I was already standing in line for groceries for 2 hours. At that moment, I thought, I would give anything right now to wake up at 10am and go back to the life I had before February 24th.
After that, I spent another two weeks in Kharkiv at Saltivka. These two weeks were hell: constant shelling that did not subside, no sleep, pharmacies are closed, stores run out of groceries, and to get to them you have to stand in a three-hour queue. Therefore, it was decided that we evacuate. We drove to the station through the bombed-out center. Everything looked, to put it mildly, very fucked. It was very difficult to evacuate, the station was full of people and animals, everyone was fleeing from the war. During the bombing in the evening, I took a train to Lviv, and from there I went to my relatives in Drohobych, where I am staying now, because I don't know what to do and where to go next. I haven’t been home to Severodonetsk for 7 months. I haven’t seen my family for 7 months.
I graduated from the university remotely, received a diploma, now I am planning to enroll in a master's degree, but I have no idea what awaits me next.