An elderly man ate his dog, a starving grandma eaten by rats – humanitarian catastrophe in Novorossia


Elderly man finds shelter from shelling in Donetsk basement

January 17, 2015
Kirill Tutunnik (volunteer from Zaporozhje) – Youtube
Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus

Humanitarian situation in Donetsk region. Interview with Suprunova Elena, deputy head of the State Committee for Humanitarian support (GCGO) and Sergei Matasov, a surgeon from Latvia.

-We would like to ask about the humanitarian situation. We are trying to collect aid from Zaporozhye. We have people who would like to help. Can you explain to us, what is the most urgent need?

– You know, we live in downtown. Even in our city [Donetsk] some people are better off, and some are worse. Kirovsky district and others are very dire. People have no homes, no clothes, no food. We have women with children coming to us, kids under 14, retirees, handicapped of 1st and 2nd category, wives and members of the families of militiamen, who are serving. We have one distribution center left. We had very little aid. But we received some aid three days ago. It’s a little better.

– More aid coming from Russia?

– Yes, 85% of aid comes from Russia.

– What about the Ukrainian side?

– Nothing from Ukrainian side. Just the aid from Rinat Akhmetov.

– They have their own distribution center at the stadium?

– They have many distribution centers. They have their own categories, lists, whom they help, but we help more categories. We need all kinds of aid. Need warm clothes. It is cold, some people have no heat. Need warm footwear. Need food. For a thousand people one kilo of grains is a ton per day.

– How many people do you supply for a day?

– On average we help about 1000 people a day. Each person provides for about 3 people, they have kids at home, so if 300 come, it helps about 1000 people. Plus we have bulk requests from towns and villages. Telmanovo, for example.

– What are the towns most in need?

– Gorlovka

– We are going to bring aid to Gorlovka tomorrow.

– They started giving money. Gave 500 UAH to our moms. But the prices are very high.

– Pampers are 360 UAH

– Pampers are very needed. Some people say, don’t use pampers, but when it’s cold, and there is no heat,  kids can get sick very fast, and then it’s hard to treat them.

– Everyone got some money, 500 hryvnia. First in three months. Each kid until a certain age. 500 UAH for single moms. For three-four months there was only one payment. First it was 250 UAH for each child, they they increased it. Before that, if not for the aid, we wouldn’t survive until this moment. And we don’t know when the next payment will be.

– What is your name?

– Elena Alekseevna Suprunova. I have been here since May. First I had my day job, and I came at night. I worked at the storage facility since July. Now I officially work here. We were dressing the refugees, POW’s. They were emaciated, hungry, had no shoes.

– We need formula, baby food, pampers. We just got a package with pampers. But its only a few packs.

– We are going to Krasnodon and Rovenki. There are some orphanages, do you have information about the needs?

– They are in Lugansk Republic. We have two centers in Donetsk and Lugansk Republics: Center of Management of Rebuilding (CUP – in Russian). They receive all the information about the needs. They said at the meeting, that the aid that we receive is only 10% of what’s needed. If we get a little bit from each country, we can give some money to people, pampers, baby food, we can save a lot of people.

– As far as medical supplies, if you would like to help. No one knows the situation better then us. We coordinate medical supplies for mothers with children, handicapped and retirees, except the hospitals. But also for outpatients. Because Ministry of Health takes care of hospitals. These are the most needy categories. We are in charge of them. And I am asking you not to forget about these people. And, of course, food.

– Some people came from a hospital. They had fish, canned meat, but no grains. We gave them some grains. So they can at least make some soup.

– Are there any cases of hunger?

– One man came over here, said: “What can I do. I have 3rd cat. of handicap. I already ate my dog. May be you can buy something from me?” And that’s just the one who was able to walk in here. But may be you don’t want to write about that..

– Yesterday a woman came from Shakhtersk.  A grandma was eaten by rats there. She was found by volunteers, taken to a hospital, and died in a week.  This is just what we know. But what’s really going on, who knows … Some people are abandoned in their apartments.

– My mother was  buried a few days ago. She was screaming for two months, because we had no strong painkillers, this is just what I know myself. I didn’t sleep for two months, not a day, not one night. When we went to a cemetery our car was targeted by snipers.

– We need to tell this to people, this is the reality. Thank you for coming here. We need to tell more people, and have more people come here.

– People don’t know about this in Europe.

– Ministry of Health need to write to their colleagues everywhere, to institutes, conferences. They don’t understand what’s going on. They don’t understand what’s happening to kids, moms and the elderly.

– Its genocide

– That’s right, we have to call it what it is. Considering their blockade of Akhmetov humanitarian convoy.

– Even though I don’t like Akhmetov. But I walked by a few times, there was a line, and people coming out with bags. It’s great, no matter who he is.

– I asked Akhmetov fund about official data about the volume of humanitarian aid for the year. It is colossal, it is the biggest source of humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

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