Nadiya Zaslavska lost everything she had due to the “Russian world”.
“Those bastards are shelling from “Grads” again. They are shelling and kiling everything around them. Bastards. So many people have cursed them, but they continue. Why, oh, Lord, why is it happening? I want to tell you that we are victims here. We are not guilty of the fact that there are so many insane, zombified people in our region whose heads are stuffed with Russian propaganda. They are bastards and beasts and I hate them. I cannot even call them “human beings” as they are devils, they are not people. A person can never be like that. They are just the army of satan which is headed by schizophrenic Putin. Oh, my, they have hit another house, pieces of shells are flying around. Are my neighbours still alive? Where are they hiding? I do not know. How am I supposed to go on living with those mutants? I do not want to stay here, never. Why are you doing this? This is our land and those bastards want to destroy it. They never have enough territories, their land is big and beautiful and those bastards are killing it. Wherever you live, my daughter, honey, you should be proud of being born in this country, in our beloved Ukraine which has suffered so much. I am proud of being born here and I am proud of being Ukrainian as well. I used to think that we were not good enough, we were losers who did not deserve to live in this world, but I was wrong. Remember that you are the best person in the world as you were born on this land. I want to bow to all the mothers who have lost their children on this land. Do this instead of me, honey, when you сan, write on the global network about this. I was waiting to say this myself but I will probably not be able to do it any more, so you do it for me. Tell them that there are so many people here who think in the same way, they are waiting and they believe that we are bound to win. God, save us. I do not say “Farewell”, I want to live”.
Nadiya Zalslavska recorded this message on her mobile telephone on September 19, 2014, when she was sitting in the basement of her house not far from Donetsk Airport. You can hear salvos and landings on the recording. Nadiya is a designer and she had been building a spacious and beautiful house for many years herself. Now, only burnt ruins are left. Nadiya was lucky to get out of the combat zone and now she lives in Kyiv.
Nadiya Zaslavska gave the letter, which she had written to her daughter in Donetsk basement to Radio Liberty and told us her story:
“I was born in the Dnipropetrovsk region, but after the university I went to work in the Donetsk region and I lived in Donetsk for more than thirty years. I had lots of different jobs and professions. I used to work in building sphere as well and I built that house in Stratonavtiv street myself. It was an enormous house with two floors and big French windows. It was a fairytale of a house, I wanted it to be different and special. In the last years before the war, I used to teach children English.
When our Euromaidan started, I went to Kyiv. I was so happy that it finally happened. I knew really well who Yanukovych was as I am from the region where he comes from. When he was elected, I was against that and I never voted for him. I knew, I was absolutely sure, that it was all going to finish badly. Unfortunately, even in my street, I was the only person who thought like that. People with Russian flags who were shouting “Russia! Russia!” were walking around the city and my heart was sinking. Then, they switched off Ukrainian TV channels and we could watch only “DPR” ones... There were dark flags all around and Soviet patriotic songs about the great country fighting against fascists could be heard all the time.
There used to be a lot of drug addicts in our city before the war and all of them went to that “DPR army”. A friend of mine who is a businessman met his ex-classmate. He used to be a gambler, a drug addict, and suddenly he turned from a loser into a “DPR soldier”. He told that friend of mine: “Now I feel that I am important as I understand that I have power”.
I had spoken the Ukrainian language all my life, not its Western dialect, but the one which is used in the East. My father was a real Ukrainian patriot and we communicated in the language Taras Shevchenko spoke. I loved it very much. In 2014 we became afraid of speaking Ukrainian openly and we would whisper in it with my mum as all our neighbours supported “DPR” and were sure that Russia was about to come.
We had a wonderful airport right next to my house. When the war broke out, I used to think that it was bluffing and it was impossible. First, they seized Slovyansk and I thought that the conflict would not go any further. Then, Ilovaysk happened and it was so close to Donetsk. Pisky was near us too. And then our city got in the middle of events, those horrible bloody events.
The house that Putin destroyed. Part 2
New service "Explain Ukraine". This is a daily mailout of three articles which were written about the situation in the Donbas by Donbas journalists and translated into English. Honest vision of people who work in the field is unbiased and fresh which is crucial in the world which is full of desinformation and propaganda. We try to share this vision in out daily mailout. You can subscribe here.