War in Donbas
Popasna, eastern Ukraine Nov. 2017.
Svetlana Nikolaevna Lebed, 62.
In the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia-backed separatist forces, several Grad rockets (‘Grad' meaning ‘hail’) hit her home, and the surrounding area on 14/2/2015. Fired from separatists’ positions only fifteen minutes after a ceasefire had ended between the two sides.
She was in bed when the rockets struck and is lucky to be alive, but the attack caused extensive damage to her house. With an outside temperature of -8c and no-where else to go, she was forced to stay where she was.
The walls are cracked and although she has had some minor repairs done to the roof it still leaks severely. The local administration gave her two pieces of tarpaulin for the roof, but despite pleas from a neighbour on her behalf, they wouldn’t give her enough to cover the whole roof.
She bought the property eighteen years ago but doesn’t have the official papers for its purchase and so can’t qualify for help to rebuild it.
She cannot afford the electric for heating or fuel for cooking, although sometimes a neighbour from the next village will bring her some hot food. She doesn't receive any support from anyone else.
Without the necessary repairs to the building, she fears it will fall down and so will be forced to go into an old people‘s home. ‘I ask God to let me live longer for the sake of my dogs'.
© Vince Bevan. All Rights Reserved.