Original: Novorossiya Militia’s Briefings (VKontakte)
Translated by Vera Van Horne / Edited by Paul Shalley & Gleb Bazov
Natalia, the mother of the murdered Christina, wrote a letter to the mother of Poroshenko’s children, asking: “Who gave the order to kill my children?”
I met Natalia, whose daughter and granddaughter were killed in the Grad shelling of Gorlovka by the Ukrainian troops, at the railway station in Kiev. In the eyes of the beautiful and once happy woman today there is deep pain, sadness and emptiness. On a page of her notebook she wrote a letter to Marina Poroshenko, and, sitting in the waiting room, she descended into painful memories from two weeks ago.
“Life Has Stopped, and There is Nothing More”
Question: Natalia, my condolences! If you can, tell us what happened on that tragic day, when your children died?
Natalia: On that day, July 27, I was at home, and it was Sunday. Our packed bags had been standing on the doorstep for several days, but that day we again could not get out of Gorlovka. Every bed-and-breakfast and other places refused to take us because of the baby.
And the last 2 days there were no trains. I was about to run from home to look for any ride, any car that could take us away from the city at least somewhere.
Suddenly, I got a call from a person, who took people out of Gorlovka, who said that he will pick us up the next morning. I went to the open window, with a clear view of a park, and immediately called my daughter, Christina, to share the news. She took my granddaughter, Kirochka, for a walk on the street.
“Christina – I shouted on the phone – It’s settled, tomorrow at 9 am we are going! First to Svyatogorsk, and from there to Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, or to the Odessa region. ”
“Hurrah!” – She screams with joy – “Kirochka, we’re leaving tomorrow! Hurrah, grandmother, we’re leaving!” I asked her: “Christina, where are you? – In the square, – she said. – Stay where you are – I said, and as soon as I said these words, the square got shelled with “Grad.” It was the first shelling of the city with this equipment. Explosion after explosion, fire, smoke and … nothing. Everything went foggy before my eyes.
I ran from the apartment to the street, shouting, “Kira! Christina! Kira! Christina! “. By the time I ran to the park, it became quiet. I hadn’t found my children. Stumbling over the shell craters, I searched with my hands in the grass, looking for toys, and, not finding them, I thought that they were all right. There was only one thought that they were in the shelter. I went there, asking: ” Were there any kids?” People saw my panic, pushed me inside, saying that, yes, there were kids.
In the bomb shelter there was no light, so I was running there in the dark, touching the head of each person, shaking people’s hands, probing them. Looking for my children and screaming, “Kira! Christina! “- There was no answer. I checked everybody, screaming and calling for my children in every corner. Later, someone went out of the shelter and returned with a female doctor. She injected me with something, saying: “You are agitating everybody here.” And, then I was told that my children were fine, that the baby only hurt her hand.
A few hours later, when the shelling died down, we got out of the bomb shelter, and I ran to the children’s clinic, because we have it all nearby: our home, school, the square, children and adult clinics, O Lord, the morgue is on this site. In the children’s clinic, I was told to try the adult clinic. I went there. And, then the calls from friends started, “Go to the morgue, go to the morgue, go to the morgue.” They saw pictures of my dead girls on the Internet. A photographer from the “Correspondent”, who was at the scene, took pictures of my killed girls and posted them on the Internet. It was hell. In the morgue, I found my girls. And then, I formally identified them …
And, later, the bombing started again and again … that bomb shelter, from which no one could leave until the morning. In the morning I went back to the morgue. But I was not allowed to take them home. “Why, do you want your children bombed twice?”, the doctors told me. I wish that I was allowed to take them home. But, no, the girls were taken straight to the cemetery. On July 29th my girls very quickly buried. I was hurried all the time: “Hurry, hurry,” – they were afraid that the shelling would start again. After that – nothing! Since that time – life has stopped, and there is nothing more. Everything is empty. After that you just howl like a wolf, and there is nothing around. Nothing at all.
Politicians have decided that I cannot be a mother or a grandmother, that we cannot any more be happy, laugh. We were deprived of it all. I howled, howled. All night after the funeral, I was sleeping at their grave. After all, what’s the difference, it was shelling everywhere!
Question: The photographer, who took these photos and posted online, has he been in touch with you?
Natalia: We contacted him. Asked him to remove these pictures, but to no avail. His name is Oleg Zhelyabin-Nezhinskii, blogger, who is published in the “Correspondent”. He took pictures of that tragedy and immediately posted them on Facebook. In a couple of hours, these photos were reposted all over the world.
The other day he gave an interview to “BBC Ukraine”, in which he expressed his disappointment that the pictures were in the media, and that on the Internet they are published without his name as attribution. Zhelyabin took photos of our dead girls, laid them on display around the world, and he cares only that the photos are not signed with his name! He does not care that these terrible pictures hurt us, and that now it is almost impossible to remove. They are literally on all social networks, on “Classmates”, on Facebook, on VKontakte …
“If This Wasn’t the ATO Troops, Let Them Prove It”
Natalia: I arrived in Kiev on August 1st to find who was responsible for the murder of my girls. First of all, I went to the presidential administration, near which there were mothers of soldiers. Wanted to talk to them. Brought pictures of my girls; I wanted to talk to these mothers, wanted to say that there are the same mothers in Donbass, as those, whose sons go to fight.
But security didn’t let me in, even though I said that I just wanted to talk to the mothers. In response, I was told that they protect the president against terrorist attacks. But why did they protect the president from me, and the president did not save my children? The fact that the president gives orders to kill my children – is this considered normal in our country? Why cannot we just live, raise our children, just breathe? People get shot, people get killed, people poured their grief into tears. Some after the death of their loved ones, did not know how to act and how to live with it.
Many have accepted it. I cannot accept. Because my children lived in a legal state. Without a declaration of war, there is fighting, and we get shot. Why violate all our rights? Declare war, evacuate people and fight. But this is not happening. People are abandoned.
Many believe, since we are from Donbass, since we stayed there, we have to have some point of view. And nobody knows that people just want peace. Many even have nowhere to go. There are elderly, there are many with children. And they just get bombed with “Grad”, from the air, in different ways. I want to know, who back then was shelling Gorlovka. I believe that it was the Ukrainian troops, but if not, let them prove it. Both, the Ukrainian ATO troops and the troops from the DPR. Let them provide a proof of their guilt or innocence. I want the Ukrainian ATO command to provide the evidence that their “Grads” did not work on Sunday, July 27th, at 2 P.M. and were not shelling our town!
I have already filed a statement with the Ministry of the Interior on the murder of Christina and Kira, as well as on the distribution of photos from the scene of the tragedy. Wrote a statement to the Security Service regarding the death of Christina and Kira “as an act of terrorism.” I want to make them think about whom they bombed in these cities. Why did they not conduct some other operations? And what kind of state is this, which did not protect mine and my children’s right to live? Who needs a country that doesn’t need its people? A state without people? They kill us themselves! They simply execute us.
I really want the mothers and relatives of the victims to join, so that they too are writing and fighting. I am preparing a statement for the military prosecutor. Need to know the proper forms, so that everything is done correctly. Even the Security Service, taking our statements, did not know how to treat it and how to register. Similarly, the police – even superiors were puzzled, because of the war that we’ve never had before, and the State had not shot its people before. But since the government allowed itself such liberties as mass murder, they have to give us ean explanation.
“I Buried My Girls Myself”
Question: You said that you could not find the girls after the shelling. Do you know who moved the bodies of your children?
Natalia: It was a local resident Sergei. He was passing by and saw my dead girls on the ground, picked them up and drove them to the morgue. It was him, who asked the morgue to keep the girls together. I asked the people through the Internet to help me find him, and I did. He came on the day of the funeral. Back then I did not ask for his full name, I only know that his name is Sergei and that he has three children – boys, who are 14 and 4 years old, and a girl, who is 13 years old.
We called each other, but since August 5th, I cannot get in touch. I really want to find him again and never to lose touch. I am very worried about him, because there again were bombings. For me, this man became very dear, and I lost him again (crying). While I was there, he himself called me every day.
Indeed, when the girls died, I was not able to think about anything. Also, I spent days and nights in shelters. Even to the morgue to identify the bodies, I went not out of the house, but from the air-raid shelter. At the funeral, almost no one came, because most of the people left, and those who remained were simply afraid of the bombing. I buried my girls myself.
Question: Natalia, tell us what they were like, Christina and Kira?
Natalia: We always lived very happily, and in our house there was always laughter and friends. Girls studied, did homework. We never argued. Even though it was a small town, we were happy there. Christina was a good girl. Finished our Gorlivka Institute of Foreign Languages. Wanted to achieve a lot in life. She loved her daughter, Kirochka, she wanted her so much and was looking forward to her birthday. Even when she still was expecting, was saying all the time, “When will Kirochka appear.” She knew what she was going to call the baby and what she was going to be like.
When Kirochka was born, Christina would not let her go from her hands. Kira sang songs all the time – as soon as she would wake up in the morning, she would shout from the bedroom: “Bah!Bah! “- And began to sing a song. We have neighbours – they all laughed, because from the first day we always sang her songs. Neighbours were asking, who have you there singing? I sang, Christina sang. We put French songs and Kirochka already started humming something, babbling. Since she turned six months, we kept waiting for her first tooth. Would get up in the morning and look in her mouth, hoping to see a tooth. But, they were not there. The doctor kept telling us that there is no such thing as children without teeth, were saying, stop checking your mouth, and they will grow. But they did not have time to grow.
I still feel that they are just out for a walk and will come back, and I mutter in the evening, that they’re so late getting back, because it’s time to take a bath. Each time they got delayed, they would come and shout: “Hurrah! Grandma, we learned to crawl, “or ” Hurrah! Grandma, we learned to walk, ” or ” Hurrah! The first wreath woven! ” Kirochka just learned to walk. In this park they walked 2-3 times a day, spent almost all the time there. There in the grass they learned to crawl and walk. They lived in that park and died there.
Christina was always in a hurry to live. She wanted to live so much, all on and on. Even our Kirochka was born before her time, on the 8th months of pregnancy …
Question: How do you cope with this tragedy?
Natalia: I fall into the grass and howl like a wolf, and when people show up, I stand up and hold on. I go out of town and howl and howl again. Previously, I had to get something all the time: you walk through the store, and a Clip was needed, and a toy. And, now – nothing. You go and you do not need anything, anything at all (crying). You do not have need anything to eat or drink, or this beauty you do not need. And, these children … children are everywhere …
We managed to evacuate Dasha two days before the event. When she had learned that Christina and Kirochka died, she started violently screaming that he hates people. Was crying on the phone, lunging back to Gorlovka.
That night, when I slept on the grave, Dasha could not get through to me. And the next day in tears, saying, “Mom, I’m coming.” My heart almost stopped” Dasha, I said, “I’m going to pick up the phone, just do not come here.” And when the telephone connection was lost, I ran with all speed to the road, where there was a connection. I was afraid that she was going to come to Gorlovka. I was afraid of losing her as well. After all, Dasha and I, except for Christina and Kirochka, don’t have any one else, no grandmothers or grandfathers. No relatives. It was only us – I, Dasha, Kristina and Kirochka. Now, only Dasha and I are left.
One day I read one of the comments by Marina Poroshenko, in which she says that her favourite activity is taking care of her husband and children. Ask Mrs. Marina, whom should I care about now, when my children were murdered? She thanked the Ukrainian mothers for raising sons as patriots. Why sons of deputies and others, who occupy high positions, are not there at the war? Why do they send the boys who do not know anything?
It is very important to me that she sees my letter. She goes to work somewhere; she is somewhere is engaged in something. I just want her to read my letter with the questions that I want to ask her.
Dear Mrs. Marina!
My babies were killed! My birdies were killed, my angels. Ask your husband, WHY?
Why, when Your little children have an opportunity to laugh, to learn … my babies were denied the right to enjoy, to love, the right to breathe, the right to be alive? Why? My dear, WHY?
Why my birdies, my angels were brutally killed, their bodies, their hearts torn to pieces? Who gives such orders?
What beast has no heart, no common sense?!!! Why he is not afraid of maternal tears, or curses?!!! Why he decides the fate of many people?!!!
Ask, my dear!
Who needs country’s integrity like that? Government that sends its sons to war to fight with their brothers. Government that orders to kill their daughters! Government which does not respect the mothers taking away the most precious things to them.
Mother of brutally murdered girls,