The war took everything away… but there is still hope for the future

9 June

The war took everything away… but there is still hope for the future

Vladik Zaychenko was only six years old when the war came through his home village, Trudovskie, in the Western part of the Dontesk People’s Republic. That town was one of the first to be ravaged by the war. Soldiers from the Ukrainian Army occupied the nearby village of Marinka, and then shelled Trudovskie, and the civilians still living there, including Vladik’s family. They couldn’t leave their home for days, having to huddle together in a makeshift bomb shelter. When it was safe enough, the family was able to move to a one-room apartment with relatives, where they waited for the end of the conflict.

The village repeatedly passed sides in the following months, and staying there would have been extremely dangerous. Vladik’s father, like many of the men from the village, rose to defend is homeland, but perished heroically, along with most of his village. The residents of Trudovskie left their home to save their children, but when they returned, the spectre of war would still loom over their once peaceful town. War criminals from the Ukrainian Army waited until the civilians had returned to begin their shelling again. Vladik’s mother (37) was one of the victims of this shelling. On the evening of June 4th, 2017 a mortar shell fired by the Ukrainian forces landed at her feet, she died instantly. Her son Vladik survived but the boy, only nine years old, was maimed by the blast of shrapnel which ripped through his legs, and punctured both his stomach and liver. “Vladik is strong, just as I am, and as his mother was. We are trying not to talk about his mother, Tanya, however he asks about her often. We were all quite close, as I was only two years older than her, but I know that we will get through this. My main concern right now is helping Vladik. We are working on getting the necessary documents to travel to Russia where he can receive the treatment he needs.” - Vladik’s Aunt, Elena. Ukraine has been destroying homes, lives, and families these last four years. Yet, the citizens of the Donetsk People’s Republic still have hope, and the strength to defeat the Fascist government in Kiev, and finally achieve peace.  

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