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Faina Savenkova: Too much pain

Originally published: Faina Savenkova: Too much pain on June 2, 2023 by Faina Savenkova (more by Faina Savenkova: Too much pain) (Posted Jun 13, 2023)

I have said many times that the war for me began on June 2, 2014, with the bombing of the Lugansk Regional State Administration by Ukrainian aircraft. And now comes another anniversary, already the ninth.

Strangely enough, that day is one of the few that I remember, albeit in fragments. Maybe because it was the first time we had so much noise, or maybe because I was worried about my grandmother, who was in the area of the shelling that day. I still don’t like it when someone doesn’t return my calls or messages for a long time, even though I know there can be plenty of harmless reasons for that. But it’s still scary. Really scary.

A heap of some scattered, jumbled memories that can not be gathered into a single chain… I remember having to go to the library to get a book for my brother from the summer reading list, but I was too lazy to go, so I told my mom that I was too tired. A little white lie. So we didn’t go. It’s quite possible that’s why we didn’t end up on the playground with my mom a little later, during the shelling in the park near the Regional State Administration building.

A couple of days later we went to the polyclinic, and mom talked to the pediatrician, including on this topic. At that time no one could believe that it was an air strike by Ukraine. Later, of course, all doubts dissipated, but back then many still had hope. Like the saleswoman at the newspaper kiosk. Her most vivid recollection of that day:

We’re looking up into the sky, and we don’t understand how this is possible, or where to fly, or where to run. We just stand there and look at the sky. And we see where this shell will land. So it hits us. We don’t have time to hide anyway.

What has changed since that day? A lot. And nothing. All of us have changed, the situation in Donbass has changed. But what has remained the same is the West’s approval of the fascist regime in Kiev. I think that was the main reason for the start of the Special Military Operation. The loss of hope for a peaceful solution and the provocation of an open war by the West. Did the Ukrainian people need this? No, of course not. Neither did we. Who needs war? But there is no other way. Children grow up when they begin to understand this simple truth.

What can we do? Try to understand cause and effect, try to learn a lesson. Even if too little time has passed for the present to be covered by the dust of time and become the past to which one can try to look dispassionately, there is no other way. The sooner the world realizes its mistakes, the better its chances for life. And the non-repetition of another June 2. Such mistakes, turning into crimes against humanity, bring too much pain to people.

Faina Savenkova

English translation: D. Armstrong

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