АвторAuthor: Juliya Baranko | Translation: Iryna Myronenko
17 May 2022
Svitlana Voloshyna is the owner of a dachshund breeding nursery from the village of Velyka Dymerka in Kyiv region. Under fire from the occupiers, the woman spent a month figuring out how to feed her pets. Over time, she still managed to evacuate all 12 dogs.
Yesterday I thought about the onset of spring, I was glad that the winter was not severe. Spring in our country this year is quite early, the plants wake up. And today from five in the morning – the sounds of volleys. This day is the boundary between what was and what is.
What a difficult day. I can’t believe what is happening. Today, in Kyiv, on Olena Teliga Street, cars of Anton Kudrin and Svitlana Zapadynska were fired upon. They and their daughter Polina are dead…
Anton and Svetlana are veterinarians. We have known each other for many years. Eternal memor.
The fourth day of the war. Very often we jokingly said “war is war, and dinner is on schedule.” Now this phrase has taken on a new color. My dachshund ran out of dry food, so it was time to get my cash “stash”. I didn’t have much money, but I was lucky to be able to buy meat for my pets for cash. This is a kind of bonus of living in a small town, where farm animals are still sometimes kept. And I had carrots in the fridge and vermicelli in the kitchen cupboard. Pan, water, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber. Yes, it’s not exactly the right and balanced dog food, but the main thing is v that it is. My dachshund has been on dry stern for 25 years. Such a change in diet is unusual for all of us.
Fifth day of the war. The day is sunny, windy and very cold. This morning, after the curfew was over, I walked to the store. On the way I went to small private shops, but they only accepted cash. I have a bank card, so the FORA store was the only one with the ability to pay. I was lucky there – I bought five kilograms of inconspicuous frozen herring. Today my dachshunds will have a “fish day”. By the way, in the freezer of the fish department there was only this little herring and a lone salmon. I also caught a pink salmon. I bought carrots, beets, quail eggs, milk. And for myself – coffee. I want to thank everyone who supported me. Thanks to this support, my trip to the store took place, and the dachshunds will be fed.
The sixth day of the war and part-time – the first day of spring. It got cold, it snowed. This is good, because it can be collected in an iron bowl, heated and will be technical water. The menu of my dachshunds is boiled fish, carrots, beets and buckwheat. A tiny rabbit dachshund with the home name Kikiron managed to eat not only its own portion, but also someone else’s. I hardly sleep. Sometimes the body turns off for an hour or two, but no more.
I must tell you honestly, I was still very scared. It was night, three or four o’clock. Dachshunds slept very quietly and with all the sounds – an angry and hungry mouse, noisily gnawing on an empty cardboard box. During the dream I heard the crash of a falling charger for finger batteries. A week ago, I would not have heard such a fall. And now I can’t talk culturally about my feelings at that moment.
The seventh day of the war. It was very cold: strong wind, wet snow, and then rain all day. I went on a hike to the grocery store. The first object was the house of the transport company. I was able to withdraw real money from my bank card. Then I went to the village grocery store. It was very empty… Clean, thoroughly washed shelves. Bread, dairy products, cereals, butter, oil – unfortunately, not in the range. But I found fish and boiled and frozen mussels. And their price is almost the same – 5 euros per kilogram. In desperation, I went to the third round of the department stores, because there was no cereal anywhere. Village, I love you! A whole department with goods for Japanese and Chinese food! Eureka! I was not interested in bottles with different sauces, but glass noodles and rice for sushi are what you need! I took the bags carefully, because there were no price tags on the shelves. Do not have time to re-evaluate. So I asked the cashier to scan these items first to see if I could buy them. It turned out well for the price. Although it is not very easy to choose. And in the rural market, I couldn’t believe my eyes – a tiny queue and selling homemade cheese. I was interested in the price. Oh, let’s take it! And in a corner of the market, in a small stall with mixed fodder, I bought two packs of fishmeal. Dachshund dinner was interesting – three tablespoons of cheese, five mussels, two tablespoons of rice noodles and a teaspoon of fishmeal in a bowl.
And I was collecting rainwater dripping from the roof. Used for washing. I went to the column for drinking water separately. I tried to deal with household chores.
Twelfth day of the war. Monday. Today it is cold, very windy. Cannonade all day. She cooked a pan of Suvorov’s dog porridge. If you don’t remember, I’ll tell you. The famous commander Alexander Suvorov during the crossing of the Alps was very worried about how to warm and feed the soldiers of his army… Provision was not enough.
“My dears, I can not order, so just ask. Give the cook all the provisions you have – we will cook from it, “said the commander.
There was a little bit of everything: various cereals, millet, peas, pearl barley, a little onion, carrot. It all got into the common pot and the porridge turned out delicious, and most importantly – hot and filling.
Here I have – barley groats, apples, pasta and pork tongues. By the way, I began to notice that the weather interests me from a pragmatic point of view. Wind?! Yes, it is cold, but the washed bedding will dry faster.
Today I was informed that I can receive humanitarian aid in the form of dry food for my dachshunds, but subject to self-removal. Go to the neighboring district center. Cannonade all day with short breaks. It’s timid and scary , but you have to look for a car and go. Found. Agreed on payment. Quick assembly – I buttoned my jacket and tied my scarf in the car. The road is congested. We stretched quietly, but arrived. They took the food. I managed to go to the store quickly: I bought flour, sugar and tea. She was also able to withdraw some cash from the card at the box office. Found a gas station, paid for the car with diesel fuel. Prices are not very nice, as much as 41 hryvnia per liter.
And a pan with dinner for dachshunds, with dog “Suvorov porridge” went to the refrigerator. After a busy trip, I did not find the physical strength to divide the porridge into bowls. They had dry food for dinner. Filling it is such a pleasure, such forgotten movements.
Thirteenth day of the war. Somehow it happened that I do not like the numbers 6 and 13. Even in the dog club know about it. When writing pedigree documents for puppies, make sure that even the numbers of the marks do not have these numbers.
Today is a difficult day. I want to curl up, I want to be weak… but I realized long ago that I need to overcome myself, make myself stronger and do the usual things.
МToday the holiday and the men of our village greeted the women. They just brought tulips in a car and gave these flowers to women. In our village, many people grow flowers in greenhouses.
I do not light a fire in the house in the evening. It’s dark. Dachshund will not feed dinner. We will behave like mice under a broom, as quietly as possible.
And I had a broken tooth in my lower jaw. Against the background of everything, as if a trifle, but a lot of inconvenience because of this.
No power supply. I will save battery.
I managed to leave on March 24. It was morally and physically difficult. I understand that it is necessary to tell about it, but it doesn’t quite turn out
My first attempt to evacuate was on March 23. But I did not succeed in transporting dachshunds. On the cart, while moving, everything fell apart, the cages fell, the dogs ran away. I cried and cursed at the same time with very bad words. I decided that I would stay.
On the morning of March 24, she began to do her usual things – she took a dachshunds went to a neighbor, she had a gas cylinder in the summer kitchen and a gas stove, on which she allowed to cook food for animals. She cooked porridge with fish, then went to a neighbor for technical water.
By some miracle I managed to charge my mobile phone twice. He was my ray of hope and connection to the outside world – once a day a tiny short call in a strictly allotted time. After calling, I heard: “Yes, load the dogs and go, evacuate, today they gave a” green corridor “. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
I dared. I have twelve dogs. Given the bitter experience, I figured out where I can download them for convenience. On the so-called tailor put two transport boxes, and on the garden wheelbarrow with one wheel put a few bedding, a cage assembled with three dachshunds, a box with two dachshunds and a backpack. My third vehicle was a hand truck for transporting drywall. There I loaded another cage with five dachshunds, a small cage with a standard male and a transport box with a miniature male. I threw another backpack on top. I fixed everything to the maximum with rubber bands with hooks. There were not enough rubber bands for fastening… I fastened the garden cart with women’s synthetic tights, because they stretch perfectly and fix securely.
It was eight degrees warm and the wind was strong outside. At noon I set off. In the usual, peaceful time, I walked from home to the center of the village in 30 minutes. Now I went with my cargo for four and a half hours. I will pass with one cart 20-30 meters, leave and return for the next, then pull the tailor after and so on to the very center of the village.
My wheelchairs and wheelbarrows are not quite adapted to such a show, they have completely different goals in life. All the way – the desert, the frozen street, small shops looted to sterility, a lot of abandoned dogs of all sizes.
«And what are there dogs ?! We came across two pairs of pigs on the way. Glorious ones, well-groomed, properly fed, almost all 80 – 100 kg of live weight»
And my dachshunds are correct. When they saw the pigs, that is, the real game, they all tried to gamble together. As a result, the unicycle was leaning in different directions, because the dachshunds were also gambling in the cage. I shouted at them, cursed in different words, as well as at the abandoned dogs that ran after us and at the abandoned pigs. There was such a frightening silence, and clouds of yellow dust spiraled along the road.
The gate of a private house opened, and a decent-looking, strong, tall man came out. He looked at me and assessed the situation.
“What? Do you want to help? – I asked him exhausted.
“So there was an evacuation yesterday? Not today, ”the man asked in surprise.
“So, you won’t help…”, – I summed up and rushed forward with a one-wheeled wheelbarrow, because it is the heaviest.
When I stopped and went back for the dressmaker, I saw that this man was harnessed to a cart and deftly carrying it.
“What, you don’t have water on the way?” He asked me calmly and carefully.
“No, there is no water,” she replied
He gave me two bottles of drinking water with him. She helped me a lot later, because I was just dying of thirst from such tension.
I practically got to the center of the village, left a handcart at the crossroads, returned for the tailor, and a single-wheeled wheelbarrow stayed away, 80 meters from the crossroads. A small turn in the road hid her from view. While I was pulling some dogs, a man in a black jumpsuit with a white bandage on his sleeve began to disassemble my design on a wheelbarrow. A box with a miniature and a cage with a standard male have already been taken to the ground and a man is trying to open one of the cages.
I realized that I would not have time to get to him and began to shout. While the meaning of my cry reached him, I still ran. He was a local man with a red face, he was drunk.
“Oh, I want to release the dogs, or they were left to die here,” my husband replied.
How I shouted at him .. If I had the physical strength, I probably beat. I was no longer able to collect the dismantled cart… And here I see that those yellow minibuses, in which people were gathering for evacuation, started moving. They went exactly where I was standing to return to the street and start leaving the village.
In desperation, I began to wave and shout. A jeep stopped nearby, and a man in a black jacket with the words “Rescuer” came out of it.
“Here I have, 80 meters away, another vehicle with dogs,” I began to beg for help, choking on my own tears.
“No, I’m not going anywhere. You don’t know what is being shot in our village. Are you going We will take you, but no dogs! ”My husband answers me.
In other situations and at other times, I would have told this young man what they were shooting at. I sobbingly answer that they are purebred dogs, that they are pedigree dogs, that they are protected by the Law of Ukraine. This is 26 years of selection work…
“Are you going? No? Well, I’m sorry, ”the man gets into the jeep and leaves.
The column drove past me. It wasn’t just hysteria, I was already howling because everything was in vain, that so much effort and work was wasted that I came across a callous and soulless young fool.
«At the last, absolutely desperate moment, I just rushed under the escort jeep. The car stopped, a man got out of it. I suffocated with excitement and tears, screaming in a broken voice that I had dogs there and that I could not leave them here. Probably a guardian angel was with me at that moment»
The man on a walkie-talkie asked that one bus return. There was only one woman sitting in it, and all the other places were free. They opened the back door, loaded my dachshunds, which were next to me. Others were also picked up along the way.
The convoy of buses began its movement. On the next street, at the stop, three more elderly couples and an elderly woman came. Only late in the evening we got to our destination. There were many checkpoints, houses affected by the war. The picture was not fun.
I did not expect that my feat would evoke such emotions in those who will meet us at our destination. People admired, asked permission to take photos. There was also a reporter who asked for an interview. The video showed my degree of fatigue. Someone told me that this story was on one of the TV channels.
An event in our house – four miniature taxi puppies were born. It was exciting, because the whole second half of the pregnancy was under fire.
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: Juliya Baranko | Translation: Iryna Myronenko
“In order to survive, we melted the snow and drained the water from the batteries in the apartment.” The story of a family from Kharkiv that was living in a bomb shelter under constant shelling, without water and food