Fort Russ News, March 26th, 2017
Translated by Tatzhit Mihailovich
Original post by Evdokia Sheremeteva (littlehirosima) – HERE
From December 2014 to fall 2015, we made trips to the
Donbass every month – in trucks, with loads of food, food, diapers, and
Then, we began to go less often. Now it’s only once every
few months, and not in trucks anymore. Now, it’s cheaper and easier to buy the food on the spot – plus we don’t have to deal with customs that way.
By now, we have turned into a team – not very large, but
well-coordinated. And the rest of the time, we are still constantly working to get things to people in the war zone. Therefore, individual trip reports are a
rather arbitrary way of describing our work. This report includes mine and
Zhenya’s latest trip to the Donbass, but also all the work done since then.
First of all, I want to thank our entire team. Zhenya and
Lena in Lugansk, and Zhenya in Moscow. These are the three people that make our
Zhenya’s face is hidden in this picture, but you’ve already seen
Lena many times, even though she still doesn’t like to be on camera, and swears
at me for less-than-perfect pictures))) I’ll show her braid sometime,
a whole yard of hair – an object of envy for many.
These guys are a rare breed of people. Not only caring and full of
concern for others. They are also friends, real friends.
They call me Dunka-“Panic” or “Bullet”,
depending on the context – I’m either running all over the place after losing
something, or I do what needs to be done with the same lightning speed ). Well,
at least according to them. I personally think that I have the coolest head of
us all. Well, you know )
As for the Moscow Zhenya, he miraculously finds time for
trips – although believe me, it’s almost impossible for him. Kills his
beautiful Audi on the war-torn roads of the Republics. And by the way, he is
also the person who created and maintains the website that duplicates my
livejournal blog – littlehirosima.com
There are other people who have long been full-time members
of our group, who help both to organize our trips, and also keep aid flowing
from Moscow inbetween them.
Sasha Shashkova, who regularly helps with sending medicine
by bus, buys gifts, helps with her car, and miraculously procures anything. Sergei
Beglov has repeatedly helped out with his car too, but his most amazing talent
is the ability to find anything at any time, and what he finds will be the best
quality at the best price (also he will find some kind of a promotion) – from
rare medicine, to special children’s wheelchairs and football nets.
Anikina and Lena Zhukova are girls who constantly help me out, and they have
always helped me with everything.
Lesha Kovinsky, Olesya Klimuk, Andrey, Sveta,
Lesha, Dima, my mom and daughter, my family and friends, and many others.
Thanks to Mikhail Jasinsky and Sasha Grodsky, for their
excellent translations (I’m sure they’re even better than the originals) to
English and German. Thanks to Alena Afanasyevskaya, for translations into
Italian. Now we have met in person, and I’m really glad we did. Hope this will
happen with Mikhail and Sasha someday 😉 Thanks to Tatzhit, for his regular
help and for posting Mihail’s translations on the Fort-Russ website.
thank you to Mihail, because he keeps alive the English version of my blog – english.littlehirosima.com, which already has a lot of English-speaking
subscribers (seems to be down at the moment, will investigate – ed.).
And the main thing – thanks to all those who trust us, who
send money for our work, send clothes and medicine. Your help is the main thing
enabling us to do the impossible, and it is the thing that drives us forward,
Unfortunately, I can not thank everyone by name, although
many make regular donations. Many people, such as Denis Ballam, give money
every month to our girl Vika, who has diabetes and severe complications from
it. We regularly get help from the German group on Facebook – HumanbataillonDonbass – Adam, Renee, Carl.
Also thanks to my virtual friend Chris). Chris – I know you
read me in Russian through Google translate, and so you’ll read this before the
translation – I’ve got your books and we’ll gift them to the children soon) And
thank you for always responding to any ideas we have.
Thanks Adriano – an
unknown friend from Brazil, who sends money all the time.
Guys, well, you
should at least send your pictures, I want to know what you look like )
Thank you, Natasha from Australia, for your regular moral
support of me personally (and also regular gifts of the people we help, and the
Thank you – to everyone who cares about the lives of the many people we
help constantly, who leaves heartfelt comments, who reposts our stuff, who thinks
and worries about what is happening in Donbass.
Who writes letters to me, and
supports me through life’s troubles. As you know, my father died sometime after the
14th trip, and mom already had to have 5 surgeries. I’m glad to have you all in
I know that the theme of the Donbass is too painful for many
people, and many of my close friends do not read these stories. They are hard
to read for everyone, and even for me. Many people donate money and help
without reading much. And for me it’s a separate subject of pride pride – the
trust you all put in me.
Thank you, my friends and readers!
This is what aid usually looks like before loading)
So, I’ll try to report on the previous trip. These are
receipts for aid we delivered. It so happened that I’m posting receipts from
this trip, and also receipts for all the help in the time between the August
trip and the December one. I’m not sure if that makes sense. It’s my fault I
haven’t posted these earlier, because now it’s quite confusing. If someone
wants to understand the details and timeline – I can explain everything. Yes,
and since many months have passed since my previous trip, there are a lot of
receipts – that’s why I added most of them in the very end of this post.
Receipts for expenses during the trip:
(Receipts posted as one pic for brevity, clickable full-resolution photos of each one can be seen in
original Russian post here. Also translated one food receipt so readers can compare
prices in Lugansk and in their countries, can be seen in note  below this post. My understanding is that
Lugansk prices are somewhat similar to Russian prices on food, and are several times lower than what we see in the West, although salaries are also much lower – ed.)
So, let’s get on with the report.
Uh, it will be very long)
The trip was difficult. After the story with the boy Kolya,
I thought that this would be the last trip for me. What happened was a heavy
blow for me, and I was not myself the whole time we were in Donbass. Basically,
the mother, whose child we tried to take out for treatment to Russia, stole
from me. Honestly, it was a difficult trip. But we fulfilled all our plans.
I thought for a while about that whole story, and
realized that if the theft didn’t happen, we would not have been able to get the paperwork to get the kid proper treatment in Russia. And that makes everything worth it – my broken camera, and all our worries.
The story has caused a stir and it was read by many people, and reached the LPR
Big thanks to Liza Glinka (Doctor Liza), who helped us get the
boy out. Almost immediately after that, she died in a plane crash when going to
Syria … And I’m proud of the fact that, even for a short time, I had the good
fortune to know this legendary woman.
Our trip was once again full of “adventure”. Blowing a tire
after curfew, and changing it out in the cold. The clutch on Zhenya’s van died,
there were problems with the gearbox and suspension. In general, we spent a lot
of time repairing cars…
As to the stories that were reported in separate posts:
We visited Vika with medicines and brought her a
bunch of gifts from Lena Zhukova (read here). After the trip, we also passed on
packages of medicines, gifts and food – three times already (read here, here and
Visited Sergei Kutsenko with gifts (read here).
Visited Irina Hizhnyak – helped with money, food (read
Visited Ira from Vergunka – helped with clothes, money and
food (read here).
We went to Slavyanseresbsk Psychoneurological Center to
visit Ira – an amazing woman, who has been mostly paralyzed all her life. She uses
her feet to knit amazing things, draw and write poetry. Brought her gifts and
an electric wheelchair (many thanks to Vova from Crimea) – read here. Visit
this link, do not be lazy. I have never seen such happiness.
We helped the Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Stakhanov
with food, diapers and New Year’s gifts (read here)
Helped the boy Nikita Osechkin, who has just been diagnosed
with diabetes, got him insulin (read here). After the trip, got him needles,
test strips and a glucometer (read here and here). Thanks to Olesya Klimuk,
Got groceries for twenty workers of the Lugansk Help Center,
who are helping the families in need. Many of the staff actually needed help too.
Especially those that have children. Their salaries are about 4 thousand (read
here) (4000 rubles is roughly $80 – but again, read the grocery prices in note
 – ed.)
Almost all the clothing and items that were donated to us – we
either distributed to the needy (described in separate posts linked above and elsewhere),
or gave to the Lugansk Help Center. They distributed it to people in their
care, recording who got what.
Since we collaborate with the hospice of the oncology
department of the Lugansk hospital, we helped cancer patients as well.
Got blankets and food to Sofia (read here) Two months later,
she died …
Helped Natasha, a cancer patient, with diapers and food
(read here). Unfortunately, she died too.
(photo – Ira Ivanova sings us a song of her own composition. Lena and
Zhenya are listening)
We went to Pervomaisk, which I covered in a lot of reports.
I had no time then to write about some people of Pervomaisk,
so I’ll add them to this report:
Bukal’ Tatyana. She takes care of Nastya, her 7-year-old
Her daughter – the mother of a child – died during the war
from cancer. She died after they fled to Russia. No one knows where the father is.
Davydyuk Denis Vladimirovich. Their home suffered a direct
hit in the summer of 2014.
His father was inside, the mother in the cellar, which saved
her. The father died. It took them a year to get the body – they were waiting
for sappers, afraid [of unexploded ordnance]. Denis is married, he has a
one-year-old daughter named Masha. They live with her parents.
The child was already asleep, so we didn’t go inside and
took a picture on the porch.
Marina Shandyba. A young family, their daughter is 7 months
old. Her husband, Sasha, is disabled.
Vitaly Shumsky. He and his wife have two small children –
Karina and Alexei. His wife, Marina, is from Popasnaya – a city “on the
other side of the frontline”. Now they live with friends. Vitali was in
the militia until 2015, until the second child was born. Now he works as a security
Elena Starodub. Two small children. She works as a nurse in
a local hospital. She gave birth during the fighting, in the Stakhanov
hospital. The maternity ward in Pervomaisk could not work. Her husband, Sasha,
also was in the militia. Now he has big problems with his eyes, no longer
Some of the aid packages were handed over to Ruslan – he distributed
them to families we did not manage to reach.
In fact, besides the help of food, during this time (i.e.
already after our December trip) we accomplished two small, or maybe not so small, feats. We got gifts for people in Donbass, for the New Year, and for Women’s
Day on March 8th.
We got New Year’s gifts for several hundred children in
Pervomaysk (read here), as well as the children registered in the Lugansk Aid
Center (read here), children with disabilities (read here), and adults at the
hospice at the oncology department of the Lugansk hospital (read here).
As for the assistance we provided remotely, through Lugansk Zhenya
Natasha had a son with a heart defect during the war. She
herself from Stanitsa Luganskaya – her house was destroyed by shelling. She lives
in Lugansk, in the apartment of friends who left to Russia. Helped her with
They helped Novospetlovsk Hospice with diapers and cleaning
products (read here)
Helped Sergei – a young guy who lost his parents during the
war, who lives with a disabled grandmother (read here)
Helped the mother of Nina, one of the employees at the
Lugansk Help Center. Got her a glucometer, test strips, and diabetes medication (read
Helped the family of Lena, whose husband committed suicide during
the war. She was left alone with the children. In the summer, she will start
receiving retirement benefits (read here)
Helped Valeria with a small child, Artyom, who was born prematurely
during the war, and is blind. She takes care of him alone (read here)
Helped Larisa and her 13-year-old daughter Marina from Ekaterinovka
with food (read here)
Helped Lena, who used to be in the militia, now left alone with
two children and living in the dorms – got children’s clothes, baby food,
regular food (read here)
Got baby Nikita, left in the TB ward by his dad, with diapers
and hypoallergenic mixtures (read here).
I do not know if you remember this boy – Stanislav. He lived
with his sister Angelica, who suffers from cerebral paralysis. In the summer,
we got the girl a stroller and diapers (read here). After that, the girl’s
father stole them. Zhenya got militia, together they found the stroller and returned it. The
mother and children went to her brother, they no longer see Angelica’s father,
and by now Stanlislav lives with his father (the first husband of his mother).
Sergei from Moscow got a “cool transformer” for the boy, just as he asked of
Grandfather Frost (Santa Claus). The boy just woke up and looks sad, but
there’s a whole other story there…
And this, below, was the worst part. I almost died trying to
sort out and deal with all these receipts. I emphasize – this is the spending
on humanitarian aid from last August to last December.
(clickable photos in
the original Russian post here):
And here are the letters of gratitude from some institutions
that we helped. Once again, I want to point out that these letters are only nominally
addressed to me. Really, they are for all of you, for all of us.
Thank you people! )
And yes, this report is written and I’m still alive !!!!!
If you want to join the help of the people of Donbass, write
to me in livejournal, facebook, vkontakte or email email@example.com, or Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
For a FAQ on our humanitarian operation, read here.
 on food prices (Rough estimates of prices since I don’t have time to
sit with a calculator; if anyone wants to
be precise, 1 dollar is roughly 57 rubles, so divide the ruble prices by 57.
And for our American readers, 1 pound is 454 grams, i.e. prices per pound would
be 2.2 times less than per kilogram or per liter)
Tea 45 grams ~$0.25 (14.96 rubles)
Cream of wheat 900 grams ~$0.45 (28.62 rubles)
Cereal flakes 500 gr – ~$0.35 (21.36 rubles)
Tomato paste 500 gr – ~$0.85 (49.88 rubles)
Macaroni 900gr – $0.35 (21.17 rub)
Vegetable oil 1 liter – $1,10 (67 rub)
Chicken 1kg – $2.20 (133 rub – meat is traditionally more
expensive, while everything else is very cheap)
Sweetened condensed milk 500g – $0.75 (42.9 rub)
Milk 1L – $1 (56.8 rub)
Butter 200g – $0.75 (42.5 rub)
Dry Peas 900g – $0.65 (38 rub)
Rye, polished, dry 900g – $0.50 (28.12 rub)
Rice 700g – $0.65 (38.64 rub)
Buckwheat 700g – $0.80 (48.16 rub)
Total bill (looks like 15 food packages with one of each item except 2 packs of macaroni and ~1.8 kg of chicken per package) – 11406 rubles, or $200 almost exactly.
I think an adult needs about 0.5kg of dry food a day, and here, $200 bought 237kg (added up, weights in receipts are somewhat less, maybe total weight includes packaging?). So it seems to me that basic food expenses would be roughly $0.50 per person per day at Lugansk prices. Unimaginably cheap for us, but then the salaries are also very low.
 EDIT: On humanitarian situation
Reports on humanitarian situation are often hard to read, and paint a somewhat bleak picture of life in the Donbass, and of the human condition in general. It is important to remember that there are plenty of happy, healthy people in the world. There are plenty of women who aren’t left alone with children, militia members who aren’t crippled, people who aren’t sick and in dire need of medicine.
But those people aren’t the ones in need of humanitarian aid, so we don’t hear about them as much.
Remember, just because the bad news are the ones that demand the most attention, the ones we all try to do something about, doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of good things in the Donbass and elsewhere in the world.