March 2, 2014
Translated by Voices of Ukraine
Ukraine has millions of brave and dedicated girls.
And every one of them is special.
Olesya, dear, be well!
The events happened this way: Olesya’s friend wrote to me on February 19, 2014. She said that she knew a wonderful young woman the people need to know about. A selfless volunteer. I wrote Olesya the same night. A sniper wounded her in the morning. I confess, if Olesya died that day, I would have closed the project. After the death of Sergiy Nihoyan, I would not have enough moral strength to write the second obituary of a person I had contacted. Thank God Olesya survived. She responded to my letter a few days after she arrived at a hospital. I decided not to bother the girl. I wanted her to be rested, including from the excessive attention of others. We agreed to meet before her discharge. And so it happened. Olesya is being discharged from hospital. She is coming home for a couple of days and then will come back for rehabilitation at the “Theophany” [clinical hospital in Kyiv].
And now about the girl. It would have been better if we met on February 20 as planned, without this horrible injury. But that’s fate.
Olesya, 21, from Kremenets, Ternopil oblast. She came to Maidan on December 4, 2013. The only girl who was riding in a bus with 16 guys to Maidan, and did not know anybody. Olesya was in 8th grade during her last visit to Kyiv. She got really angered by the student beatings at the hands of Berkut riot police on November 30, 2013. The first time, Olesya came for five days and just talked to people. In general throughout this time, Olesya went to Kyiv and back home more than ten times. She lost count. Olesya worked as a volunteer in the kitchen, and on December 31, 2013 became a medical volunteer. The young woman is a paramedic by training. On January 19, 2014, Olesya was working on Hrushevskiy Street at the time the situation got aggravated. “On the night of the 20th of January, a noise grenade dropped near me, and got me a little stunned. That was the first time I felt scared,” – she says.
Olesya met many people during her volunteering. She reminisces about the “hell barrel” near the ceiling especially warmly. This tent was a heating unit. People gathered there from different regions of Luhansk , Kharkiv, Poltava, Ternopil. But when the events of February 18 transpired, the tent was burned.
Olesya got sick several times. With tonsillitis and a cough. She returned home for treatment, got better and went back to Maidan. On February 17, 2014 she was discharged from the local hospital and went to Kyiv the next day. In the morning of February 19, 2014 she was already on Maidan, she worked all day and all night until 4.00 am. “I just arrived, and I wanted to do more, ” – explains Olesya. She woke up at 8.00 am on February 20. A young male-volunteer from the medical team said that today the young women should not work today. Olesya disobeyed. She went to pick up the medicines at Mikhaylivsky Cathedral and wanted to take them to the clinic near the Christmas tree. Coming back from Mykhaylivsky [Cathedral], Olesya stopped by the Lyadsky gates since she saw her friends from the “hell barrell.” She looked at her watch. It was 11:37. At 11:40, a sniper shot her. “The minutes kept running by. I saw blood on my hands and realized that I would die,” – recalls the volunteer. The bullet hit her neck and went through it. The ambulance arrived and very quickly took her. She had a cell phone in her pocket. While in the ambulance, she posted on a social network, “I am dying.” The point is, she liked a 22-year old boy from the square. The feelings were mutual, and they were going out. They met during the New Year celebration. “It was a farewell to everyone and especially him,” – explains Olesya.
After surgery, the young woman realized that a miracle had happened and she survived. Olesya did not want to tell her parents about her injury and intended to return to Maidan the next day. Obviously, her mother already knew about everything, she came to Kyiv and spent the whole time in the hospital with her daughter. Now they are going back home together.
As for Olesya’s health, the bullet grazed her salivary glands. Therefore, it is impossible to remove this horrible scar and have plastic surgery earlier than in six months. Olesya asked me to photograph the scar so that the whole world could see what they did to our people. Olesya also has a small scar on the opposite side of her neck. After she gets the medical help and the treatment she needs, Olesya wants to go study at the Bogomolets National Medical University.
Just like all other previous visitors, I thanked her mother for raising such a wonderful daughter. “Actually, I did not raise her to be this way. I wanted her to be quiet and calm, but she is as fast as the wind. I can do nothing about it,” – said her mother. Olesya is an only child.