I deliberately describe here only what I saw, heard or experienced myself, or, at most, what the person told me personally, what he saw and experienced himself. I don’t pass on anything that “speaks”, but they say a lot, and beyond that terribly scary. So if I mention the victims of the explosions, which I myself (thank God!) Did not see, it means that someone from the health workers living in our yard (I communicate closely with three) saw or assisted. (For example, a colleague of my hostess collected the remains of those 11-ti that died at the bus stop.)
This is just a witness diary.
I expected to see a gray industrial city, but Lugansk turned out to be a pretty, very green and somehow freezing southern city, with apricots scattering under its feet and a lot of flowers. They were landed, despite the shelling that had already begun then. In general, despite the fact that the city is in a state of martial law, it looks quite well-groomed - the streets are washed with polivalki, the garbage is taken out, the tram wires are restored.
But the streets themselves are almost completely deserted even during the day, and this is somehow uncomfortable. Institutions, private firms and almost all shops are closed. On the roads, rarely and rarely pass a passenger car or a minibus. There are a lot of craters in the asphalt, and if you raise your eyes, you will notice gaps in the walls or chipped bricks and glass broken by the blast wave. At one of the pedestrian crossings, besides this, the already dried 8 bouquets and wreaths spread out on the asphalt are visible, according to the number of the dead.
There, where the oncology center and the women's monastic community that nurtured it recently, were not missed by the patrol. But she learned that, thank God, the sisters had time to go down to the basement at the very beginning of the bombing, and the explosion only damaged the building outside. It could be worse, because there were a lot of bedtime cancer patients. Now everyone is evacuated.
In this city, I do not know a single person. There is no money for the hotel. I ask the locals for the road - which, by the way, are very friendly - to the cathedral, and after 2 hours I have the key in my pocket for a one-room apartment located two steps away. The situation is spartan, but perekantovatsya, summer time, you can. The Lord is alive
The first night was unusual: I somehow naively believed that it was impossible to shoot in the dark. What a! The firing stood - worse than during the day, but I was so tired from the road that only one eye was slightly open, I would turn over comfortably and sleep to myself further. Only once I jumped, it was a very low-flying roar and a howl of sirens that made a painful impression. Having watched Soviet war films in childhood, a stamp has been firmly imprinted in our minds: sirens! air! the fascists!
Several times during these days I heard GRAD - also not for the faint of heart. It seems that asphalt is sprinkled with 5 tons of gravel from a great height.
Conversations in queues, at bus stops, in minibuses only about one thing: a shell hit there, a building was damaged, so much for the day of the dead, the wounded. In the evening, my neighbor, the health worker, returned from work, says: she just got up from her place in the office, moved into a corner, broke the glass with a blast wave, knocked the door open - she did nothing, and the staff on the porch crippled, the young guy pulled off his hand. These conversations occur in a calm tone, without hysteria. Yet: in the early morning, almost always there is a lull, and exactly at half past nine, shelling begins. Everyone is looking at the clock together: "Oh, we woke up, drank tea and began to bomb us."
I just finished writing it, as another neighbor says: Today, a shell hit the bus, the driver was killed, there are wounded. For some reason, they bombed a nursing home on the outskirts of the city, there are also dead and wounded.
Luhansk residents do not doubt that they have decided to liberate the territory from them. Most of them look at it philosophically - well, they cannot all leave, because with the Pitmen they are close to 7 millions.
It is convenient for Ukrainians living in a safe - as yet - zone to think that the southeast is bombing itself, especially since the media is always ready to confirm this point of view with “irrefutable facts.” Well, the people have gone mad, destroying their own infrastructure, shelling random crowds of people, among whom may be relatives and friends - what can you do, it is their choice. This does not concern us, we can sleep peacefully.
Well, I can not sleep. I ask every person I meet at once the same question: “Tell me, did you see it with YOUR EYES, so that the city was bombed from the plane?” And each of them, surprised at the question, answered: “Of course, I saw (a)!”
The dear girl behind the candle box teaches me the artifacts of artillery science: “Listen, gunfire ... count to six ... an explosion! These are ours. But the volley is weaker ... count to six, and a strong explosion! That's according to us" .
I really do not like double standards, but they are being used today with might and main. I do not recognize Orwell’s democracy: all citizens are equal, but some are more equal than others. As for the LC, the plane of the Ukrainian Air Force just flew in and bombed in the center of Lugansk. As a result, a full-scale civil war, and the account of those killed by PEACEFUL PEOPLE has long since passed over a thousand, and wounded and homeless are innumerable. Ay-y, Kiev! Let's put a monument to our Heavenly thousand?
What is striking is the absence of children in the city. Summer, but you can hardly see them either in the streets or in the courtyards. After an airstrike on the village of Lugansk and the death of the 5-year-old “separatist” Vanechka, everyone who could, took their children.
And so let someone try to quote me from the Ukrainian media, who said that there was no air raid! At least a hundred people saw this plane with their own eyes, and I spoke with some of the survivors personally.
Lugansk is a southern city, but winter will come here. Already in the city there are interruptions in water and electricity, there is no supply of food. Salt-sugar-matches, laundry soap and toilet paper have long disappeared from the shops, and the shops themselves are closed one by one. The bread is still baked, the stock of cereals has not dried up yet, but how much is enough for it?
From luganchan conversations:
"Remember, it was before the war ..."
“I went out into the street in the morning, a polivalka was going, flowers were everywhere — as if there was no war ...”
(Local father) "We are here on our own land, and do not bomb us ...!"
RUSSIAN THEME (russophobes can not read)
In central Ukraine, we are tired of hearing how bad Russia is, because it is fighting in the southeast. Arriving here, I was amazed to find that Russia is bad because it is NOT fighting in the southeast! And what kind of people we are - for centuries we can not please anyone!
Around the 3 day of my stay in Lugansk, I suddenly realized that I had never heard Ukrainian speech. According to official data, 70% of the inhabitants here are Russian-speaking. I don’t know where the rest of 30 are hiding, but now, on the 10 day, I have the full feeling that I am in Russia. In such a situation, it is easy to understand their dissatisfaction with the language Ukrainization, which became especially popular during the reign of President Yushchenko.
No, no, dear friends, I heard all these indignant comments about the fact that no one forbids speaking Russian. Obviously it may not prohibit, but clerical work and training - sovereign, be weasel. And if at the time of the separation of Ukraine you had 40, and even 30, then you really will not learn the new language. Well, well, I, “klyat moskalikha”, every time I get stupefied, when I discover that the instruction or description of the medicine is written only in Ukrainian. So I need to get out in his Moskal. Well, Donetsk residents with Luhansk residents for what?
Now you are Evropa, so I will tell you how this TAM is done - well, for example, in Switzerland. Switzerland is comparable in size with the southeast of Ukraine - 7,6 million. At the same time, 4 is the official language: German, French, Italian and Romansh, and the last two are spoken by 6,5% and 0,5% (!) Of the population, respectively. Just think about it - half a percent of the population, and no one considers it second-class, but in the canton where this half-percent lives, office work is carried out in Romansh as well. And instructions and other household nonsense - everywhere in 4-x languages.
“ONE VERY LONG DAY. 9 August Panteleimon
Exactly a week there is no connection, electricity and water, but still bring water, and you can survive.
Yesterday I took a turn at half past four in the morning and it was 9! Today she promised to take neighbors on them, so she didn’t close her eyes, afraid to let her down. (Friends, acquire classic alarm clocks, acquire everything that does not depend on electricity!) In 4 I jumped into the yard, hoping to be the first, but, alas, turned out to be the sixth.
I decide to go to the temple of Seraphim of Sarov. Minibuses now go only until noon - there are problems with fuel in the city. On foot - an hour on the very hell. Around again, terribly whistles and rumbles. I already know that if you whistle, it means that I am on the line of mortar fire. With each explosion, I habitually baptize and pronounce: “Lord, let him not kill anyone, not hurt, or make homeless.” My grandmother goes by and me, instructively: “There’s nothing to be afraid of, you need to read. Living in help ...”
It is possible to pray in the temple, and for the first time in these weeks, to preach informally. It's getting late (7-th hour!), And I worry a bit about the way back. Especially I wait for the last blessing - we will leave the world and go home. Still painfully hot. If only to reach out, eat and - sleep, sleep ...
At home I only manage to change my clothes when I hear a loud knock on the door. "Who's there?" - "The military commandant's office. Open, and then shoot at the door."
I open it. Two in camouflage, one in the hands of the machine. "Your documents". - "And your?" Provides a certificate. While I consider, they pass without ceremony. I draw my passport, and then - all according to Mayakovsky, just the opposite. Endless questioning begins, who I am, and how and why I ended up here.
The principal asks if I have a rosary. Mentions that he lived in a monastery on obedience. Showing. My Athonite three hundred, without a traditional brush here, apparently does not convince him. He takes the Gospel from the table, flips through, asks if I know the Church Slavonic. "Of course". The one with the automaton does not let up: "Come to her commandant's office!" - "Okay," the chief agrees, "let's go. Get ready."
They take me to the courtyard, and there - all the inhabitants of our 4-x houses on the benches. Televisions do not work, and the hours in 8 in the apartments become a bit dark, well, they go out for a breath and a beat. It’s not for nothing that they came out today, they’ll show such a spectacle on TV every day. They put me in the back of a pickup truck, the main one - behind the steering wheel, and a machine gunner next to me squatting on his heels. We are going. Still not scary, but it is very pitiful that they did not manage to eat, and already clearly could not sleep. Suddenly, the chief asks, without turning around: "Well, if you are so pious ... Do you know the Sermon on the Mount?" - "Yes". - "Well?" I begin: blessed are the poor in spirit, for those are the kingdom of heaven, blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted ...
Squeal of brakes, a sharp turn on 180, and we rush in the opposite direction. Automator yells:
- You what! Where are you going! Let the commandant's office check!
- You do not understand. There are nuances. We were wrong.
Unloads me again before the amazed eyes of the inhabitants of the house, hands over the passport and apologizes:
- This is her majesty the war made us suspicious. We were not like that.
Thank God, you can eat, sleep, and catch the Liturgy in the morning.
(For reference: there are grounds for suspicion. In Lugansk there are constantly sabotage groups that drive around the city in minibuses - there was even one by ambulance - and spontaneously firing mortars. The rear doors simply open, several mines are released, and the minibus leaves.)
The bride-in-law of my landlady lives in the village, on the pasture - no one has a salary-pensions now. A couple of days ago, a bull-calf was slaughtered and taken to sell, but Dnepropetrovsk lads in uniform, “for the needs of the liberation of the Ukrainian army”, requisitioned it at the checkpoint. The head and hooves, however, gave. The horns and legs left ... the one-two ... the one-two ... interestingly, will Lugansk be “liberated” according to the Slavyansk scenario? Freed from buildings ... freed from residents ...
Last night, several shells hit the Epicenter (building materials supermarket) on the eastern outskirts of the city. There is little left of him, but she learned that just next to him you can, if you are lucky, catch a mobile signal. For a week without electricity, the cheerful little screens almost went out, but I still have a charge on the bottom of my extension phone. The idea that relatives are worried, not understanding why the connection with me was lost, torments most of all. I go to the outskirts of the city and, when I get there, I see the picture as if from a film about the death of civilization: amid sleepwalkers, dozens of people wandering hopelessly and shouting hopelessly in the background of the charred remains of the supermarket ... and my smartphone can do everything except catch a weak signal, and in an hour of attempts it is possible to send only a text message. And thank God, at least they will know that I am alive.
Two weeks without water, 10 days without electricity. Finally, the gas disappeared today. The inhabitants of our houses immediately poured into the courtyard, someone chopped dry branches, someone dragged a large pan, food ... for an hour - and ready chowder for all. Where is that Europe behind us!
By evening, gas appeared, and we thought that was all.
The elderly cinema has explained to us, the elderly, that “without water, neither tudy nor syudy”, but this was purely theoretical knowledge. Now, many have learned it from experience. The queue for water had to be occupied all earlier, moving farther and farther in it: night came in 2 and it turned out 26, the next night went down to the courtyard at half past one, and there was 93! Brad some - do not sleep well in the yard! And then our cunning people found a solution - they painted everyone home and porches, established a constant sequence, and invented to pour water at the same time from the tap and from the hatch at the top of the barrel. The matter immediately went more fun.
13 days without electricity (and, therefore, without everything else). The city authorities from time to time give hope for its restoration, but it goes out as quickly as it lights up - with the electricians who are trying to fix the transmission lines, Ukrainian snipers are successfully working. They do not shoot at the limbs.
They decided to mark the first day of the Assumption Fasting with intensified shelling. In a residential area not far from us, a shell is torn, and when people gather to help and the ambulance arrives, they throw another one, 18 people die on the spot, many injured people.
(I remember one acquaintance was outraged that the rubber bullets of the Golden Eagle could even penetrate the skin ... so - just for reference - a wound here often means severed arms and legs.) On the same day, 11 people also die at the stop.
Friday evening, 2 day of fasting. I work around the window in the kitchen, there’s something else to be seen. Suddenly, shelling begins right along our street. So scary whistles ... the impression that the mine will now fly into the window. Forgetting that I am brave, I run into the hallway - and before that, everyone laughed at the neighbor who was spending the night there. Mina is torn apart for several houses from us, the other - in the neighboring yard - catches up with her husband and wife, who have left to breathe. Overtakes death.
Against this background, Poroshenko’s today's statement to foreign journalists is particularly touching, stating that the main concern of the government is the safety of Donbas residents.
At the bus stop, a woman tells me a local anecdote: Strange people are these Donbassians: they go to work, go shopping, go for a walk ... but as soon as the Ukrainian army comes close, they immediately start bombing themselves.
3 weeks without communication, electricity, water. And if in your house stoves are not gas, but electric? (There are whole quarters of such high-rise buildings) And if you live on 9, the elevator does not work, you have to run to the basement many times a day, because the shelling begins, and then somehow climb back again? And if with all of this you 70 +? Add the still unbearable heat and the lack of a refrigerator, and you can easily guess that the mortality rate among the elderly has increased dramatically. They are dying and just from stress: “I survived the war in childhood, and here in old age again ...” - my neighbor is crying. The city does not have time to bury them ... Lord Romance Maidan, at whose expense we write down these old men?
Five weeks in Lugansk. Diary entries of one nun. July-August 2014
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