Most of the citizens of villages and cities along the front-line do not have possibility to prepare firewood because of the mine-studded forest plantations and deadly danger. Most of the mines, where people used to work and receive coal for a discounted price to warm their homes, were left on the occupied territory and access to them was closed.
Mariinka and Krasnohorivka cities from the beginning of the military activities (more than 3 years ago) are left without gas, and that is about 26 thousand citizens. Gas pipes were broken by shooting and its renovation remains impossible due to constant war activities. Citizens go back to using stoves, but many households used to be based on gas only. In winter 2015 in Krasnohorivka there were few people who froze to death in their own homes.
Purchasing power decreased because of the loss of jobs and closure of enterprises, which is why they have no resources to provide warmth for winter.
Halyna Konstiantynivna was in her kitchen when mortar round hit her house. A wall and a roof fell on her in pieces and almost took her life. An old woman was crying for help. A neighbor heard her cry and got her out through the window. Since an old woman did not have any other place to live, this neighbor made her feel like at home in his own kitchen, where she has been living since. Neighbors and other kind people repaired the roof and the wall, but the cold was still getting through cracked windows and it was impossible to live there. Within the Initiative, there was a heating boiler set and wooden briquettes were provided, and our partners installed new windows. The old woman finally celebrated New Year’s Eve in her warm home.
“In 2015 in Krasnohorivka many people of an old age froze to death. They put on clothes, went to sleep and never woke up. If they had at least one close person then there would never be such a terrible death. Some women for the winter period get together and get warm by the electric heater, because to pay for everything is hard for a single woman. The main thing during the war – is not to be alone”, tells us a local citizen Viktoria. She and all members of her family used to work on the factory that was closed with the start of the military actions and therefore, for the last three years they have been surviving with the help of the vegetable garden and short-time jobs. Viktoria says that before the heating boilers they used a cost-iron stove to get warm. Three winters were spent in a house with the temperature of +6-12C, constantly searching for wood and coal. Viktoria is ill with acute arthritis, that is why she has also been provided medication.
An old couple of Oleksiy and Nila lives on the corner street of Mariinka where the front line is just in few meters. Mines hit their garden many times and there is often shooting, all the walls of their home were beaten with shatters, their windows were broken and blocked with thick wood, on their neighbor’s garden there is a ready-to-fire-round. One day the old man got injured by the shatter from shell that fell in few meters. Fortunately, his injures were survivable. They did not manage to contact doctors and had to put a bandage by themselves.
The old couple is raising their 11-years-old grandson Danylo. Two years ago a boy miraculously stayed alive after a shell of “Hrad” hit their home. 2 minutes before that Danylo ran away from the room to the cellar, surviving as a bomb-shelter for the family. Another relative did not reach the cellar and tragically died. Danylo got scared so deeply that he couldn’t speak for 3 days. The family lives in poverty that is why help with fuel and installation of heating boiler could not come at a better time.
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