Rimma Fil’, Coordinator of the Humanitarian Headquarters of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation:
When they say that now is not a time for
the weak, when I hear the slightest justification for war – I think
about the wounded children. About little Milanka from Mariupol, Vanechka
from Donetsk, Vladik from Avdeyevka. I cannot understand, accept, and
forgive war. And when I see happy families in Kiev parks, I can’t help
but think that something’s not right with their happiness. At the
subconscious level, you feel something false and artificial about it. It
should not happen while at the same moment, in the same country, less
than 500 miles from here, peaceful people are being killed.
For a year already, in the Humanitarian Headquarters of Rinat
Akhmetov, we have been living in a maelstrom of woe and tragedy. Our
life is cries for help replaced by the silent whispers of despair, we
live in the long lists of medications for those injured in the shelling,
and in the lines of elderly waiting for humanitarian aid, delivered at
great risk to the drivers. We have seen a lot this year.
Several days ago our psychologists, who deal with the trauma of war
near the frontlines, sent to our headquarters a letter of a 13-year-old
girl living in Makeevka. Due to ethical considerations, I will not say
her name. She’s had enough without that.
I am convinced that this letter is a symbol of this mindless and
merciless war. Read it, don’t turn away from it, don’t cover your eyes.
And don’t think that such a thing can not happen. Read it and curse the
“A letter to Mama, who died from the shelling.
My Mamochka, my most beloved, the most beautiful, thoughtful,
sometimes strict. I did not count the moments when you were next to me.
You simply were, and you gave joy and love. But somehow I never noticed
it, and simply lived under your wing, without cares and troubles. Only
now do I note each moment without you, and all my thoughts come back to
you. You became so close and yet so far in one moment, in one instant.
Even now, I cannot believe that a grocery trip can be so fatal, that the
shell chose you. War came so unexpectedly. We all heard the explosions,
saw the flashes of weapons, trembled and hid in the basements, but it
all felt distant – this cannot be, this isn’t actually happening to me
and my relatives.
Why you? The best, the dearest, you who were always against war? I
need you. I don’t know how to live any longer, I don’t know where to
find support, how to wash away this pain …
Babushka has “darkened” from grief, and is closed herself to
everyone. It is very hard for her to take care of me, and I don’t
trouble her. She says that we won’t survive just on her pension, and I
am not receiving any money since the country is no longer. I feel guilty
for being “dumped” on her.
The world has become so colorless and sad. If not for my cousin
Anya, I would just sit on my bed and look at pictures of you. She and
Aunt Natasha have moved in with us for a short period and constantly
engage me, forcing me to do something, play, help with cooking.
Mamulechka, I am so guilty before you. I didn’t help you, sometimes
didn’t listen, I argued. If everything could be returned as it was, I
would be the best helper, the most obedient, responsive, hard-working.
Why do we lose what is most precious?
It’s been six months already since the last time there was
shelling in our area. I go to school, my classmates support me, but it
is unbearable to think that we have to keep going to the cemetery. I am
afraid of the cemetery and everything related to funerals. This is where
death is, and it takes you away from me over and over. I feel the pain
again and again, and I see it in my dreams, so often. I don’t want to
see it. In my dreams you are next to me, and you embrace and kiss me,
like before, on the cheek, and play with my hair.
I have decided to study well, so after 9th grade I can go to
medical college and become an emergency nurse. I won’t be afraid to run
to a wounded person under fire, even if the car stops far away. That
could be someone’s Mama and I will be on time to help her. Just minutes
of human terror cost you your life. I will be strong and bold. I’ll stop
being a burden. I’ll start to support Babushka.
Curse this war! It took away from me the most precious and close
thing – you, my Mama. And although each instant you are in my thoughts, I
still want to embrace you, kiss you, place my head on your lap. I so
love you, Mama!”
[Girl from] Makeevka, 13 years old.
SOURCE (segodnya.ua = Ukrainian portal). Translated by Carpatho-Russian. Edited by Tatzhit.
Background info by the editor:
Whatever one says about Akhmetov himself (as all oligarchs, he is equal
parts mafia boss, feudal overlord, and business tycoon), it is an
indisputable fact that his foundation delivers a huge amount of
humanitarian aid to DPR. I don’t have any figures,
but his aid appears to be second only to Russia and DPR government
itself (my contacts personally saw truckloads of aid to DPR, but did not know if he sends anything to LPR).
Of course, the aid also appears to be part of the arrangement with the
DPR, wherein they don’t nationalize most of his empire and he feeds civilians, but
it is very conspicuous that he is the only oligarch to
have made such a deal.
And of course, the people actually handling the humanitarian work for him probably
aren’t there to steal aid – if for no other reason, then because
stealing from Ahmetov is a real bad idea – and in all likelihood are very good, selfless and devoted persons.