Safe in Russia, a native of Lugansk looks back


Translator’s note: When I learned that Ksenia Novikova was from Lugansk and had escaped to Russia, I assured her that her story was important, and needed to be heard; I invited her to write to me.  This is her reply.  — Tom Winter

She sent me pictures. I spare the reader the ones with broken bodies…

It is painful to write about what has happened…

Hello! I will begin my letter to you with the fact that I am a native of Lugansk — I was born there. It is painful to write about what has happened. Ukraine was just beginning to stand on its feet. The sorrow is what they have done to Ukraine. 

I have two sons. My husband died about eight years ago, and I am a single mother raising the children by myself. The transformation of Ukraine has been a very bitter thing for me.

We elected Yanukovich; in the elections, I showed up at the polls and voted for him. When he was in power, we had stability! In those days, having lost the family breadwinner, I got financial help for the children; we worked and we always got paid our salary. As soon as there was the first Maidan, what a backwards step that was! Only when the government went back to Yanukovich and his team were we able to look calmly to a future. There was stability. Sure, no riches, but we had stability. Maidan name-called Yanukovich “thief.” They stormed his residence. The antagonism of it! What president in the world doesn’t have a house? Does any one of them live in a hut or hovel? Storming his house I count the acme of insanity. 

And of those who gathered at Maidan, not a one had read the accords about accession to the EU. None of them had read it! They all thought that once Ukraine signed on, they’d be able right away to travel without a visa! And they thought people would start investing money in Ukraine! The motivation was pure and simple greed: Visa and Money. The whole push for Maidan was the itch for gain. 

But we in the southeast opposed the Maidan — they were killing and crippling police guys there! Seeing the violence there day by day made me weep. And onto Maidan there came visitors from America to hand out cookies and support the mindless mass. Yanukovich said “No” to America and to Europe’s leadership,  and the result was regime change. 

Then the crowd, out of their heads with their impunity, poured like pig-swill burning killing threatening everything in their way. It is painful to think back on it. I am a witness to what happened in my city and to the entire country. 

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The Crimea went off on its own. They all are screaming that Russia is to blame for it all. No such! Russia accepted Crimea. Russia saved Crimea. If Russia had not held out the helping hand, Crimea would be on fire and there would be thousands of corpses just like there are in my Donbass! 

Crimea would be on fire just like in my Donbass…

We are to blame only for not supporting the “regime change.” We were opposed to Maidan, and we opposed murder. We were opposed to death and war. But no one sees us. No one hears us. 

Just knowing about such horrors is bad enough but to experience them! People torture and maim; a girlfriend living in Dnepropetrovsk reports the horror of daily life: civilians go missing without a trace. And the while our Lugansk and Donetsk and the region experience bombardment. Every day they shell Pervomaisk City, where my mother lives. Every day! It’s horrible! And it is NOT war. It is genocide. 

It’s not war … they don’t fight; they stand off at some distance, and…

I took my kids to Russia last year. We could not stay there any longer. I lost my job, there was no money for food. So frightening. Non-stop shelling. So frightening. Even here in Russia, at peace, our first months, the boys would panic any time an airplane flew over. We scanned the sky in fearfulness. I never imagined I would witness such horror. It’s hell. And they don’t fight: they stand off at some distance and in one swoop annihilate whatever is in front of them. 

It’s a government of murder. But Parashenko [untranslateable wordplay: parasha is a holding cell slop bucket! Parash — enko!] and his crew are so many lackeys. Nonentities. 

The realization that half the population of Ukraine has turned into animals is killing me: Half of Ukraine wants to kill us! The horror: one brother turns in, betrays, and signs over to death, his brother. This war has split families, one for Donbass, one for Kiev. And they actually want to kill us right now. A woman wrote me one day — imagine, a woman writing this: “They ought to buy an atom bomb and burn up that Donbass of yours!” I am in shock at the people of Ukraine, And from these fool sheep you only hear “It’a all Putin’s fault. Russia — aggressor!” They have torn Ukraine apart with their own hands, and Russia is to blame. 

You recall that movie Doom from 2005, with Karl Urban and Dwayne Johnson? In it researchers tried experiments, adding an extra chromosome, and the extra chromosome affected people differently. It turned some into inhuman monsters, and left others on the side of the good and with extra power. This has happened to us in Ukraine. Half of Ukraine have become monsters, but the other side has found faith and strength of soul, that we will win out in this godawful war. It cannot be else! The good will always win out over evil. So it has been and so it will be.  

I hope my letter is understandable for you. Once again I will take the opportunity to say thank you! Thank you for telling the truth! The worst thing that God can do to a person is to take away his understanding mind. It has befallen Ukraine on account of their grasping at wealth and at their invented dreams of the beautiful life, Ukrainians have lost their mind and are destroying their own house and their own country. Glory to god, GLORY TO GOD THAT IN OUR WORLD THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE YOU.  PEOPLE WHO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THE TRUTH AND ARE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. THANK YOU!

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