War is ugly. Especially when you get to see it face to face. I’ve witnessed a lot of drastic events all over the world, but this conflict hits close to home. My father is Ukrainian and my mother is Russian so it’s been especially hard to process what’s going on right now in Ukraine. And it was even harder to sit still.
I remember being at the front line of war back in 2014 when the conflict was just starting and I could never imagine it could grow to the magnitude which I just witnessed less coupe of months ago. My family and I, as well as my Mosaic family has been helping with everything we can. Starting with purchasing vans to transport people out of war zones, supplying people with food and medical supplies as well as supporting those who work daily to help people in the affected areas. With this documentary, we wanted to show you what the people of Ukraine are going through right now and tell their story. A lot has been done, but we need your help to keep going.
Donate to help war victims in Ukraine:
mosaic.org/ukraine (all donations are tax deductible). Special thanks to DP/Editor of this short film Val (luxfilms.com) for never saying “no” when help is needed.
“Of course, we did not think that this could happen, there wasn’t even an inkling. There was talk of a potential war. But I didn’t believe it. My daughter-in-law said that there will be war, and I told her: “don’t believe it! Everything will be okay!” But the next day, it happened after all. It’s just a pity. We saved penny to penny. We are simple people. We lived on a salary, saved a little. I was born here. We didn’t have money. What a pity. But nevertheless, we will build a small place to live in. Somewhere to sleep. We’ll spend out summers here, and the winters in Kyiv. We are happy that there is at least a place to live. But there are people who were left with nothing at all. Our elderly neighbor has been helping us. She was lucky because only her shed was damaged.”
“I’m thinking – who did you (Putin) recruit? These are children. And then, their officer came. He says: we got rid of Nato and soon we will get rid of all Bandera followers. We’ll hold a referendum here. Put our guy in charge. I told him, he can brag after he accomplishes something, not before. He thought they can accomplish this in two days. But their plan didn’t work out. And after about 15 days they started running out of provisions. So they began slaughtering livestock: cows, pigs, chicken, everything. I thought there were smart people in their government but I guess they are all just old fools. Where are you sending your children? Why do you need Ukraine? What is this all about? And the only goal is to destroy. Just destroy, ruin, kill and that’s it. Destroy everything.”
“We don’t know his name. My son brought him home 3 days ago. He was the colonel’s dog. But the occupants arrested the colonel and took him to Russia. They also killed his wife. So the dog ran loose for days until my son brought him home. He’s 2 years old. We now call him Bayraktar. ”
“Everything burned down. We’re left with nothing at an old age. Nothing at all. The cellar and outhouse survived and nothing else. We had a barn, a garage, grain. Everything was destroyed. And over there, look, there’s a bomb or some kind of projectile. We don’t know if it’s active or not. But we put a sign on the street that says: “Caution. Bomb present.” In case someone won’t see it in the dark. They used out teapot as a shooting target. Even the teapot was destroyed. We made sure to prepare for old age and retirement. We had plumbing, cold and hot water, a toilet, a bath, and 2 wells. A prosecutor came yesterday and asked me what my estimate value of the house is? But how can I know? Everything we owned was there. All of the appliances. We had everything! How can I estimate how much it all costs? And when will it be rebuilt? I hope they (the city) will build the house soon and we can slowly acquire all the things to furnish the home. In the meantime, they offered us a parked wagon at the stadium with a shared toilet and a shared bath among 4 to 5 families. We’re lucky if we get good roommates, but what if they’re alcoholics? Am I going to be cleaning up after them at my age? The government said they will help rebuild, but no one knows when this might be. Our street has suffered the most because the operation headquarters were here.”
“I was in Kiev when the war began on February 24. On February 25, my father and I decided to leave the city and go to our village, Andreevka. We thought it would be safer here. We stayed there for two nights. Everything was like normal. On the third day, a large column of military equipment began to roll though our village. The first column was more than two hundred units. We sat with dad in the cellar counting the vehicles that drove past us. I lost count after 220. We spent another night at home and then the next morning we got a call telling us that about 70 tanks were coming our way. So we ran one street over to my uncle’s house. Because we live on the main road and thought that it would be dangerous to stay. We lived in the village for another 10 days. Most of the days were spent in my uncle’s cellar. During the shelling, a rocket flew into our yard and damaged our house. The shock wave from the explosion was so powerful that even cast-iron heaters were torn out from the walls. The pit was more than 3 ft deep. Russian soldiers lived in our house. We were told that there was a communication station set up in our yard. And of course, everything in the house was stolen. When we returned home – it was just a nightmare. Everything was scattered. Other people’s belongings, bloody bandages, small syringes. Most likely, the Russian soldiers were injured and injected themselves with painkillers. There are even records left behind indicating what number they (the Russian army) lost. How many wounded, how many killed. I gave it all to the Ukrainian soldiers.”
“We’ve been living here for two months. We came from Solnechny. The shelling was terrible. Very scary. And we have a child. My grandson is 6 years old. We settled here the best we could. I made a table out of scraps and we use a sled as a table for my grandson to do some school work. At least a little bit. A shell fragment flew though my bedroom window, blew out a locked door and embedded into the wall in the corridor. The room is small, and had I been inside, I would be gone” (A woman who is living in a basement of a building in Kharkiv).