A cozy courtyard and a small house on the outskirts of Donetsk was the same as in most towns in Ukraine: friendly, green, neatly cleaned. Everyone knows each other, there is always something to talk about or just sit together. From the usual picture, only walls beaten by fragments of shells and places of "general assembly" were knocked out. Everyone knew where they could safely spend a few minutes with a cup of coffee and a cigarette, tell them what they brought to the last shop left after the shelling, where the “defenders” and “liberators of the Nenka” got today and how many people died in which area. Behind the courtyard fence, the neat school looked brand new, but no one went there after a shell fell on the sports ground and killed two children. There were few people left in the yard, and among them, almost everyone included grandmothers and younger women with shrapnel wounds received in 2014 and now. Men rarely appeared in the yard. There was no baby noise at all. Young parents moved their children to the center to rented apartments, where “gifts” arrive less often.
Now, petals have been added to the usual themes of the courtyard. They are discovered, collected, and all those who meet and pass by are warned about them. None of the military came to the outskirts for the last discovered petals, there was no water for several days, and this also no longer surprised the residents of the courtyard. The attitude towards the outskirts of towns, megacities and villages has everywhere remained the same as in ancient times - not detached, but not particularly caring either. The hands of any authority did not reach the few inhabitants of the city outskirts, and even more so in wartime. To remove everything from the outskirts, you need to work there around the clock.
Minibuses went and everyone knew that this week the second one was blown up on the petals.
You can write novels about the people of Donetsk. As my friend said, the women there are straight and merciless, like a stretched arrow.
Perhaps this is true, but such directness and ruthlessness do not appear from scratch. They no longer wait for the end of the war, there is almost no hope left in their eyes. There is confidence that all this will eventually end and that they will not give up. And now we have to live and they live, waiting for water and rejoice that their children are alive. And they love their city very much and are proud of it. They know by name the children and grandchildren who study, achieve the heights of mastery and success in the business they live in.
Every corner of the yard and all of Donetsk has its own name. Each flower of the courtyard garden has its own story. They are truly friends and remain indifferent to each other and to what teenagers, wounded by the soul, do not understand what their future may be like.
In any conversation, they recalled who built what in their city and region. They will remember that Akhmetov built their beautiful school, but they will never forget that he always did not care what and how their children were taught in the schools of collapsing Ukraine.
When I was leaving, the neighbors gave me flower seeds from their yard. I will definitely plant them in my yard. I want to always remember their eyes, longing for a life in which no one needs to prove their right to be themselves, their dignity, which has become courage, their love for their land, which cannot be taken away while they are alive.
This entry is also available in
|About the Author:|
| ELENA MARKOSYAN|
All publications of the author »»