Lysychansk: do you know what it is to turn gray at five and a half years old?

By Khrystyna Bondarenko, Editor-in-Chief at
Channel 5  07.27.2014
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

And do you know what it is to turn gray at five and a half years old?

Yes, terrorist-assholes, Sasha [diminutive from Oleksandr] turned gray after you shot him in the back and shouted, “look what a speedy kid.” The boy did not speak for seven days. Today is only the second day since he started talking again: about the parrot Kesha, who turned deaf, and about guinea pig Dasha, who started biting him hard. [They] did not have time to take the animals with them to the basement and the little boy was very worried about them. 

The guys from the National Guard now live in Sasha’s apartment. And at the neighbors’ [apartment], too. Unlike most of the locals, who, by the way, first take the bread from our soldiers, and then curse them, stepping a meter way, Sasha’s parents decided to set up a National Guard headquarters in their yard and apartment. And now, there is a machine gun next to the bathroom door by the bathrobes. But they don’t mind this, not at all. Nor do they care that instead of flowerpots, there are now sandbags on the windowsills. And several soldiers sleep on a sofa bed. And they generally don’t care how their abode looks now–most importantly, they still have it. Many [people] are left with broken walls and wall carpets pitted with gunfire instead of their old apartments. Terrorists set up their positions directly in the yards, specifically making people their targets.


…And Sasha was rescued from his gray hair by his new best friend–a soldier in the National Guard. It is thanks to him that the little boy started speaking again. He was the one who offered to replace the [boy’s] stylish gray haircut with a shaved head.

Liberated Lysychansk–Sasha sings along with soldiers:

But another problem has arisen–when Sasha sits on your lap, you notice the short hairs on his clothing–his hair has started to fall out. Sasha’s mom is pregnant. She hardly cries anymore. She has gotten used to [the situation]…

Many of their acquaintances joined the rebels. And having joined them, many of those [acquaintances] shot at their own.

Lysychansk is gradually coming back to life. But it is very painful. People here are still fighting over bread. You can’t even imagine what a horrible sight it is. Separatists robbed all the stores in town.

Lysychansk fight for bread:

Incidentally, Sasha now says, “Glory to Ukraine” on goodbye. He holds his mom by the hand–proudly just like a man–and then, looking into the camera, he says so reassuringly, “It’s not scary, don’t be afraid, now we will be alright.”

P.S.: We are working on a film about people who are learning to live without war. Short stories are only a part of this project.

Photos: Yan Dobronosov
Source: Khrystyna Bondarenko FB

This entry was posted in English, English News, Eyewitness stories, South&Eastern Ukraine, Video, War in Donbas and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lysychansk: do you know what it is to turn gray at five and a half years old?

  1. Lorren says:

    If only my arms were longer. I could reach each of these honor-less, soulless terrorists and break their filthy necks. I could drag Putin from his palace and make him dig up the mass graves of the Russian-speakers murdered by his “defenders.” I might bump that missile just wide of its target in the sky. I could carry enough food to fill the empty stomachs. But most importantly, I could gather all of these children into my arms.

    Isn’t it time we stretched out our arms and ended Russia’s threat to the children of the world? What do we have to do or protect that is somehow more important than this?

  2. Keith Hetman says:

    the video of the soldier singing brought tears to my eyes. god bless these folks. thank you for this snapshot into the locals’ lives. Slava Ukrain! Heroyam Slava!

  3. Gaizupath says:

    Just like Keith Hetman, I cannot stop my eyes from tearing. I do really feel sorry about them. I don’t know what should I say about the little boy with gray hair and the solders

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