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I can’t stand it anymore…

I won’t handle it if I don’t start sharing this. I held it inside for so long, but I can’t stand it anymore… Those who are weak-spirited I ask not to read. It will be a little unpleasant and creepy. But I can’t hold it inside anymore… Every day I live with it. I keep silent and live… Don’t ask me how I am.

Those stories of people of war. They are everywhere. They’re around. They’re inside me. Sometimes it seems that I can smell them… And over time I realize that it’s not normal when you’re looking at a hand or a head falling out of a black bag, and it doesn’t horrify you… After Covid, which I had after the election campaign, almost two years passed, but I still have no sense of smell. Maybe this has saved me a couple of times.

I can’t tell you some details so as not to hurt relatives, so don’t ask me anything, please. I won’t comment on what I’m going to write. I will just post from time to time some dialogues for you to understand how I feel when I hear them.

Story 1.

“My husband was killed, and his body was taken.”

“Taken where?”

“He was buried under some other name in some other part of Ukraine.”

“How do you know that?”

“I have everything written down, I will tell you now…”

“I can’t even get a death certificate because there is nobody.”

“You must go to SSU [Security Service of Ukraine — Ed.] and demand exhumation.”

“I’ve been already offered to identify the body of another unknown man as my husband, bury him and get a death certificate. But how could it be so?”

“We will take your husband and rebury him.”

“But that other one must be found, his mother doesn’t even know that she buried someone else’s son. The entire village buried him.”

“I understand, but when they know it, they’ll start looking for their own… We already have the expertise, so we need to request permission for exhumation from the investigator and the prosecutor.”

Story 2.

“Good afternoon! I am looking for the son of the deceased. He’s left all alone, isn’t he?”

“Yes, they live nearby.”

“I will come to bring some aid.”

“Good afternoon!”

“Good afternoon! Sorry, I just brought some aid and wanted to tell you that you can rely on me…”

“Kateryna… I just didn’t want the grandmother to hear…”

“So what happened to the great-granddaughter?”

“She went to find out about the evacuation. Russians caught her, they were raping her for a week… Her heart eventually gave out…”

Story 3.

“I brought you a tarpaulin. What happened here? I see that the fence has fallen. Was there a tank?”

“Yes, they [russians — Ed.] lived with us. They killed my brother and my husband. And the dog. And the guy that ran out of Irpin and hid at our place. I can show you the photo.”

“Yes, please do…”

“See, they shot right behind the head…”

Story 4.

“This cat is all I have left.”

“What did they say, when they came to you?”

“Shouted, “why don’t you leave the house?” And we said: “we’re afraid, the shooting is all around.” They said: “We’ve come to “liberate” you, we’re russians, can’t you see?” And then they threw a grenade through the window. The house got on fire.”

“And what happened next?”

“Then they brought my husband to the yard. My father began taking buckets with water and extinguishing the flame. And then he asked one russian to call my husband to help extinguish the fire. The russian even went out but returned in a minute and said: “Oleh won’t come…” I ran out, and my Oleh was on the ground, stripped to the waist, — missing half of his head. Only later did I realize that they shot him on the ground because there were no blood traces on the fence… The cat was in my hands. Clung to me. And I clung to my husband, shouting: “Shoot me too, shoot me…” I fell on my husband, and the cat was with me all that time…”

“We weren’t allowed to bury him. All the time I was on the next street, thinking that he was lying there alone, that dogs had already dragged him all over. I just dreamed that at least one bone would be left from him to have at least something to bury…”

“And when did you have a chance to come closer?”

“A month after, when our army has come. My father and I found some cellophane, wrapped him up, and took him into the yard. Only after that, I somehow felt calmer…”

Story 5.

“Can you identify him?”

“Yes, he has tattoos on both hands, I think I could.”

“Come here, this body is not in the morgue, it’s in the refrigerator… Wait, I’ll take him out.”

“Looks like he’s not falling, right? Maybe let’s come closer to hold him?”

“Yes, look, on the right shoulder.”

“I can’t see. The hand is black, I can’t see the tattoos. Can you show the left one, please?”

“Yes, one sec. Here, take a look.”

“Yes, here. Looks like it. And the cross. Yes, it’s definitely him.”

Story 6.

“Oh, I was giving your aid to our neighbour.”

“And how is he? Where does he live if the house is destroyed?”

“In the summer kitchen. But he upset me.”

“What happened?”

“He said that two more little girls were found here… We don’t know who they are, whose daughters are they… They’ve already been cremated. We buried them today.”

I don’t know how to let the whole world know it? Are there any abnormals, who call all this fake?

To be continued…

July 19 at 10:27 p.m.

Ukrainian Text by Kateryna Ukraintseva. Translated into English by Ukrainianvancouver team — Aug 23, 2022

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