June 01, 2022

Liberated from Home


Liberated from Home

“It was a very happy life, because we lived in peace, tranquility. And the fact that our acquaintances from Russia and relatives say that we were infringed upon in some way [by the Ukrainian authorities] is not true. We lived and rejoiced, made plans for the future. And now the 'liberators' have come and 'liberated' from all the good that was in our lives. Ruined, or rather, want to ruin our lives."

–  Julia, a nurse in Severodonetsk, a city in Donbass

On May 30, the war closed in on the Donbass city of Severodonetsk. According to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, all critical buildings in the city have been destroyed and 90% of the city's buildings have suffered damage. Additionally, two-thirds of all residential buildings have been destroyed and nearly 1,500 people have been killed. 

Julia, who managed to escape from Severodonetsk, said that many people did not wish to leave the city, hoping that they could remain with their relatives and not have to rebuild their homes elsewhere. Others, she said, wished to stay due to fear of leaving shelter. 

When speaking to her friend in Moscow about the invasion, Julia learned her friend was convinced by the Russian government's reasoning for entering Ukraine: "I said: 'Well, you see, Russia attacked us.' She replies: 'No, it’s Ukraine and America that attacked, and Ukraine bombed the Donbass for eight years.' And I want to say: 'Well, show the destruction in the Donbass that has been in eight years. And how much destruction Russia has done in these three months.'”

The war has taken on nightmarish proportions, with not only the shelling of the city, but also hospitals and daycare centers

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