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  • Українці розповідають про пережите під час війни з росією

    Ukrainians talk about their experiences during the war with russia

    The Reznichenko family

    Sergyi Reznichenko: “Eight years ago there had been no shelling in Bakhmut. We thought this time it would be the same”

    Life under fire

    АвторAuthor: Inna Molchanova | Translation: Anna Shliakhova

    23 June 2022

    Sergyi Reznichenko’s family fully experienced the fear of full-scale war. Now you will know what happened to them and their native city.

    We left Bakhmut (former Artemivsk) on the 23th of May at 5 a.m. right when the curfew ended. Checkpoints were not crowded anymore, so we could pass without delay. We decided to go to Cherkasy where our friends found an apartment for us. 

    At that moment, Artemsil, Europe’s largest salt company located in Soledar in the Bakhmut region, had already shut down due to hostilities. Many buildings have been ruined there, including the factory itself.

    A missile hit a civil building in Bakhmut

    A missile hit a civil building in Bakhmut

    We were scared for our children. Shelling in Bakhmut became more frequent. Firstly, explosions were somewhere far away, but then they became ever closer. If our eldest son Makar could understand the situation, our youngster daughter Daryna ran to the corridor, when she heard explosions. “Dad, it’s banging” she told us and ran out of the room. We hid in the cellar of our house. We quipped it, and stored food and water there.

    All Bakhmut was to be fired from the sky

    We lived in the Zabahmutka district near Kharkiv-Rostov highway. All high-rise buildings along the highway were destroyed, private houses were damaged as well. Leaving the city we saw it with our own eyes.

    Artwinery, a sparkling wine producer located near Bakhmut, stopped working in March due to shelling. They were forced to cease operation to save their workers’ lives. Bakhmut furniture factory, ceramic factory, gypsum factory: all were under shelling like any place in our city.

    When explosions were near our house, it was the scariest. There were massive explosions when missiles hit the furniture factory or the sparkling wine factory. Our windows trembled and the sound was very loud. 

    As s missile hit a five-store building, a girl was injured. They took her to a hospital and she eventually survived.

    Bakhmut ruined buildings

    Bakhmut ruined buildings

    Eight years ago there had been no shelling in Bakhmut. We thought this time it would be the same, so we stayed for a while in our native city. But, now they’re trying to erase from the face of the earth some cities in the Donetsk region. 

    Cooking gas is no longer available in Bakhmut now. Water supply still works, though with interruptions due to damage. It’s the same with electrical power. Many people fled the city. About 20% of the city is ruined by the moment. It’s not safe to stay there.

    My parents live in Klynove village, 15 km from Bakhmut. Now they have no connection, water supply, gas or other utilities. I could speak with them for a few minutes 4 days ago, then we lost the connection. At least I know they were alive. 

    Our children ask us all the time when we come back home

    Now we’re in Cherkasy. We rent a flat for 5000 hryvnias and pay additionally for utilities. It’s expensive for us. But people here are kind to us and prompt us with everything we need. We receive humanitarian aid.

    Before the war I worked as a cable electrician in DTEK’s TPP energy-generating facilities. Now I’m on leave without pay. So I will look for a job, because we have to pay rent.

    The Reznichenko family evacuated to Cherkasy

    The Reznichenko family evacuated from Bakhmut to Cherkasy

    But, we missed our home and our native city so much. Our son constantly asks when we come back. When we come to our temporary home, my daughter asks me if it’s our home now. We sincerely believe that the war will end soon and we’ll be back to our home, relatives and friends. I wish everyone would come back and we would rebuild everything we lost. We believe in our victory.

    Чому важливо поширити цю історію?
    Якщо українці не розповідатимуть свій погляд на війну в Україні, світ поступово забуватиме про нас. Натомість цим обов’язково скористаються росіяни. Тому не даймо їм жодного шансу.

    Why is it important to share this story?
    If Ukrainians do not share their views on the war in Ukraine, the world will gradually forget about us. Instead, the Russians will definitely take advantage of this. So let's not give them a chance.

    АвторAuthor: Inna Molchanova | Translation: Anna Shliakhova

    Life under fire

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