Originally translated by J.Hawk and published on LittleHirosima-English website.
Edited by Tatzhit Mihailovich
Fort Russ, Dec 15 2016
Littlehirosima: The Christmas Trees of Pervomaysk
In the LPR, there is a city called Pervomaysk. It has a leader, the acting mayor Olya Ishchenko – widow of the murdered mayor Zhenya Ishchenko.
She is the only mayor I know personally, and we’re friends. I think that if all the mayors were like her, the world would be different. Better.
Anyways, here’s the story. As usual, I’ve been coming up with ideas.
Pervomaysk, like every place else, will soon have Christmas trees for the kids.
LPR government is providing Christmas presents for all families with 3 or more children, as well as for children that are disabled, who lost one or both parents, and others in similar situations.
However, many kids are outside these categories. Often these kids live no better than those who are in them, but they do not receive welfare benefits and centralized humanitarian aid.
Even though these are kids from struggling families, I won’t lie to you that they are sitting in cellars and starving. That was two years ago.
Then, we brought them presents, and the shelling was so frequent that people were afraid to return to their homes at all.
Today’s Pervomaysk, unlike Gorlovka, is relatively safe even though it is on the frontline. Shells strike only the outskirts. Those who remained in the city live in their own apartments and homes.
However, there are almost no jobs. After all, the mines and other key industries are idle, with few exceptions.
The average salary in the region is 3-4 thousand rubles per month (~$70 – ed.). And prices are comparable to Moscow’s.
Yes, people in some other regions in Russia and Ukraine also don’t make much money. But still, the situation there is different. Take Pervomaysk’s water problem, for example. After water supply from Ukraine was cut off, they managed to restore it somewhat, but it is delivered only several times a week.
And hundreds of houses suffered from shelling, etc.
Of course, many parents will somehow figure out how to get presents for their children. But that would make it even worse for those kids whose parents won’t be able to put anything under the Christmas tree.
Olya Ischenko is herself a mother of two, and when we talked about it, she got very sad, like any mother would.
We estimated we’ll need some 430 presents. That’s a large number for our tiny team. But I thought that perhaps we’ll try to collect money for this project separately?
I think that providing presents for those kids is a terrific idea.
What do you think?
Please label donations specifically intended for the presents “New Year” or something similar.
And be good! Those who have been bad will be visited by a fat Snow White with diapers instead of Santa.