The war is such disgusting thing that it is not enough guns, tanks and machine guns for it. It is not enough deaths on the battlefield for it. It covers with its black wings everything it touches. And people die… not only from bullets and shrapnel…

This three-room apartment was overcrowded and noisy two years ago when the entire family used to gather together here. There were elderly husband and wife, their 90-year-old mother in law, two adult sons, the wife and little son of the younger brother there. The men used to talk about their business and women – about theirs. It wasn’t enough space in the kitchen all the time…

It is quietly here now. Galina is alone. The doors to all the rooms are tightly closed and curtained with blankets to keep the cold outside. The door to her small room is also tightly closed. The heater is near her bed. Her crutches are leaning to another side of the chair near the bed. The elderly lady can’t go to the toilet or to the kitchen without them. Her legs can’t keep her, so she mostly rests in bed and cries. It is hard for her to carry the burden that laid on her during the last months.

She took her mind off sad thoughts when I asked her to tell about her youth. She arrived in Krasnogorovka being 16-year-old girl. She entered Agricultural College. She’s got independent adult life: dormitory, friends, dancing parties… But she wanted to perform a feat, to improve virgin land, to build Baikal-Amur Mainline, work in taiga, travel to open space…

Her friends persuaded her to go to the construction site after graduation from College. They said: What we can earn in the farm? Let’s stay in the town. So Galina became a painter-plasterer. She worked in various places, she participated in building accommodations for the victims of earthquake, for Chernobyl survivors and so on… The buckets with concrete were usual thing for her all her life. She used to work hard, and her health began to fail her only when she retired. Her spinal discs slipped, his legs stopped to obey her.

Her husband has never offended her in her life. Her sons grew up. It seemed to her that all years have flown by as one day. Where is all she had two years ago? But now it seems that the years have flown by, as one day. Where all that was two years ago?


Her mother in law got sick and never recovered after the first firing. She had never thought that everything she experienced during the Great Patriotic War will revive so vividly in her old age. She died and was buried.

Her elder son couldn’t survive through the first months of the war and regular whistle of landmines and shells. He’s got a stroke and died

The father’s heart was broken when they had commemorating meeting on the 40-th day. Galina was left without her husband…

Turning to the hooting of guns, they failed to take a good care of their little grandson playing in the street. The boy ran out of the yard to the road and was knocked down by a car. He’s got fractures, injuries of internal organs and couldn’t get medical care in Krasnogorovka as there were no hospitals functioning and doctors working at that time there. The younger son and his wife and child went to Tokmok. The boy is being medically treated there. God willing, he will stand on his legs one day again…

There is no one in a large apartment. Galina doesn’t even shut the door to her apartment for her friend and neighbor to come in any time. She tries to read because she has always enjoyed reading books. She needs to read and keep precious warmth under two blankets. She has to read in order not to hear this silence chaining the house…

We installed a stove for Galina in her small kitchen. It will be easier to live for this grandma with it. Warmth goes from the stove. She can heat water on it to wash herself of cook porridge. Besides, the stove sounds like alive. It seems to you that you are not alone when the firewood cracks in it and it sings with the fire and hugs you with the heat.

– I do not want to die yet, – Grandma Galina says. – I want to see my grandson healthy. I want to know that we, Dragaytsev family, are still alive, that our seed is left on the Earth and continues to run and laugh, and that the war didn’t take him away…

We thank “Helpage” for the stoves for elderly people of Krasnogorovka. The brothers from this organization don’t even realize how much they do.

Gennady Novikov, the press service of “Emmanuel” Association

We just remind that “CBN-Emmanuil” continues to help the people from the South-East of Ukraine.
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