A bomb hit my parents’ house
Almost 80% of buildings in Irpin have been destroyed: all schools, the hospital, clinics, civilian infrastructure. The city does not exist anymore. My parents’ house was hit by a bomb. The high rise where my relatives lived was hit as well. The yard of a friend’s house was hit three times. My home is destroyed as well. My elderly neighbors who lived on the second floor were shot, and the Russians just looted my apartment.
One of my relatives died in the territorial defense forces, and a few other people I knew were killed as well. By the way, my daughter-in-law was also in the territorial defense forces, and she even got a medal.
Instead of a post scriptum. February 2023
Last September I returned to Ukraine, but I had nowhere to live, so I moved my things to my friend’s shed, and went back to Budapest after a month. It was a difficult month: I walked a lot through the destroyed city and even recorded a little video. I watch it sometimes to have a good cry…
Many of my friends and relatives find themselves in the same situations. The house of Irina Anasenkova (a member of our community) was bombed, and the Russists came to her mother’s place (she lives in Bucha), defecated there and stole her things.
At the same time, many people who evacuated came back. Overall, the community lost approximately 15% of the membership. But these numbers are misleading: people come and go; Irpin often experiences power outages. Those who have a place to wait it out are not returning yet. I live off my daughter. My pension in Ukraine is 2200 hrn (~60 USD), and I cannot find a job here because of my age. My daughter hosts some other people from Irpin: there are seven of us in total.
I try to help the community as much as I can: I coordinate the work of volunteers who distribute food and clothing. And I go to Irpin for short amounts of time. The community continues to work. We have two chairs: me and Irina Kaygorodova. She went to Israel, but came back. On major holidays we get up to 30 people. Of course, it is difficult because of the power outages. One time we came, and then the lights went out. Our community center is on the ground floor. We lit the candles, but there were no windows, and it was hard to breathe. Our members are elderly, so we said a prayer, made a kiddush, and went home. But we get support from larger communities: Zhitomyr, Dnipro.
It is a little scary to come back now, although I get daily calls from my friends. They have gotten used to the sirens, and just walk the streets, not paying attention to the air raid alerts. But you don’t know where and when a shell will fall. I shudder when I think about my September trip. Now when I come, I try not to walk the street: hold the celebration and come back.