14 hours, 840 minutes, 50 400 seconds of fear in Gorlovka

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Gorlovka

January 21, 2015
Egor Voronov – Facebook
Translated from Russian by Krisitna Rus

Sleep well, Gorlovka, tonight …

Fourteen hours lasted the artillery fire in Gorlovka. 840 minutes of fear. 50 400 seconds. The time when Gorlovka turned into a giant adrenaline polygon of hopes. Half-hour of explosive volleys, ten-minute “breaks” and more fire. “Grads”, howitzers, mortars, machine-gun fire. Gnashing, hissing, “bam!”, whistle, screech…. Damp basements filled with children cowering next to tired parents. Doctors and nurses – exhausted, but helping the wounded. Bus and taxi drivers rushing passengers home under shelling. And all this in a city with a total area exceeding Cologne, Seattle and Edinburgh, and the population of Veliky Novgorod, Brussels or Little Rock. The city with one of the largest chemical plants in Eastern Europe and one of the most interesting art museums in Eastern Ukraine. The city where I live.

There is little information. So I don’t want to believe that today in Gorlovka hundreds of my countrymen were killed, and even more wounded. That dozens of homes are razed to their foundation. That this is not the last such bombardment. Let it be a rumor, as it already happened more than once. I want to wake up tomorrow and not believe in the numbers of casualties/damage/consequences. Let the most intense fighting today happen in the virtual battles in VK and FB. And may only the nerve cells be on the lists of the dead.

Ozerniakova. “Well, how are you there?” – I ask relatives. “Scary, but not in the basement. Mikhailovka was chilling, there was a lot of heavy equipment. The village, they say, almost leveled to the ground. What’s really going on – I don’t know. Shells flew above us all the time”. “Hold on!”, I say to them from powerlessness to say anything else.

Fifth quarter. “Alive?”- cautiously asking. “In my opinion there is not a single glass left in my district” – answers my friend. – “Equipped the basement with a mattress, threw an outlet, brought a heater. Sitting around, devouring the neighbor’s soup. Delicious! Now glued to the screen of the tablet and reading “Self-Defense”. Scary.” “Take care of yourself”, I say with a smile.

Shterovka. “How is it now?”, – write to one FB friend. “We have not left the house since Saturday. Pounding. Was down in the basement the first time. A missile fell in the garden. Everything intact. We are used to this. We survived August”. “Hold on,” I write with hope.

Ispolkom district. “How is it?”, – asking a friend. “My blood pressure went up 150 over 110. The heart is junk. Laying in the basement. The whole house in the basement. 10 adults and 3 children. Explosions nearby. Loud”. “Well, brother, heavens keep you safe…”, – I am not sure what to say.

Bessarabka. No connection.

Kurgankha. “Zdarov. What have you got there?”, – shout to a friend on the phone. “Remember the defense of Sevastopol? Thats it! Only without the sea and the opportunity to escape to Novorossiysk. Goddamn Boogie-woogie. Like Mike’s: “well, at leisure, I dance Boogie”. The house is dancing. But it is not scary anymore. Whether the adrenaline is gone, or the consumed in a day has not gotten out of the system. In short, we’ll break through”. “Be careful,” – jokingly I advise.

No energy to think. To worry. To say something. Fatigue. Overwhelming and hopeless. Before the next unknown 14 hours. 840 minutes. 50 400 seconds. Good night, my city. As ever I want to wish you a good night. Peace and anti-war dreams.

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