Maxymilyanivka is a small village near Maryinka, Donetsk region, which has been living to the sounds of cannonades for the last eight years.

The villagers are already used to the fact that there is a war nearby, and they learned how to live in these conditions… The full-scale Russian invasion on February 24 changed the life of the entire country… and even the frontline towns of Donetsk region that were seemingly so accustomed to living at war.

When Russia started bombing from the sky the explosions were so unpredictable that it was impossible to hide.

Degtyarenko Iryna Andriivna, a native of Maximillyanivka village, has been living here with her husband, daughter and grandchildren. The signs of  an upcoming disaster had been visible but no one expected the tragedy to such an extent. But no one expected such a tragedy.

Iryna’s  9-year-old grandson Vitaliy was helping his grandfather in the garden when the village came under the first serious shelling.

We didn’t even have time to understand what had happened when we saw Vitaly’s lifeless body on the ground. The projectile flew straight into the garden and killed the child with a detached fragment. This is  just a terrible disaster. This is such a great loss for the family, Iryna shares with tears in her eyes. 

The place of shelling

Iryna’s daughter and the surviving children were evacuated, while Iryna and her husband decided to stay because they can’t imagine themselves homeless, hiding from war in other people’s houses. They remained despite the fact that the shelling of the village continues every day. All of the villagers continue to spend nights in basements and their village becomes like a chimera at night. 

All of the local shops are closed, suppliers refuse to deliver food under fire. The villagers are only able to survive thanks to the relief provided by the Church.

Thanks to the support provided by “Operation Blessing” Ukraine, the village receives fresh bread every day. The locals who hear the sounds of explosions and cannonades every day, who see a terrible picture of destruction, who lose their loved ones and are forced to experience the worst – are the ones who unwillingly became hostages of terrible circumstances.

These are the people from whom almost everything was taken, but they were given hope that they would not die of hunger.

Thank you for giving hope where almost nothing else is left.

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