Translation into English by Uliana (initiative volunteer). Original post: Translated and edited by our team.

Do you know that feeling when it hurts? I once fell in love with a boy, but he wasn’t in love with me, and I thought it hurt. Apparently, what hurts is seeing my mother die in front of me. My brother kept coming up to her and saying, “Mommy, don’t sleep. You will freeze.” We will never be able to visit her grave. She remained in that damp and dark basement. We went to the toilet, slept, and ate leftovers in the same basement. One day Uncle Kolya somehow caught a pigeon. It was probably the fifth or the sixth day. We fried it and ate it. And then we all vomited.

Mom was holding on, but she died three days before our evacuation. I told my brother that she was sleeping tight and should not be woken up, but I think he understood everything. He understood it also when our neighbor died, and we could not bear her, so she began to smell. And then it became quiet, and Uncle Kolya carried her out. Then he got blown up on a tripwire. Mom cried a lot. After the death of my dad, Uncle Kolya was the closest person.

Corpses stink so much. They were everywhere. I covered my brother’s eyes with my mother’s scarf so that he would not see them. I nearly vomited several times while we were running.

I no longer believe in your God. If he existed, we wouldn’t suffer so much. My mother never, you hear, never did anything wrong. She didn’t even leave Uncle Kolya overnight in another room until they got married. She visited the church and went to the confessions often. And so did I. Uncle Kolya even quit smoking so that my mother wouldn’t be worried that he sins. And your God just decided to take her away. A priest told me that my mother will be serving God. Only it would be better if she served here, bringing us up. I hate Russia. My uncle lives there. Do you know what he told me on the phone today? “Katya? Who is Katya? Girl, I don’t know you. What war? Who is Katya?”, he said. And then he wrote from a random phone number, “Katya, do not write to me. It is dangerous for my family and me. We cannot bring your mom back.” I hate them! It was his own sister! How is that possible?

I think that I will return to Mariupol. I will live in the same place and, on the same day every time, will go down to the basement of a new house and lay flowers. It’s also scary when children cry, but you can’t. You can’t be heard. These freaks were finding people in basements and killing them. Those who survived said that the russian military was capable of raping children, the elderly, and even corpses. If there is a God, why does he allow this?

I don’t want to live anymore. We’ll probably be divided now, and I might not see my brother. What for? Why did this putin save us? We lived well, and we even bought a car. Uncle Kolya promised to teach me how to drive. They burned even the car. And there is no apartment anymore. I want to die, but I can’t.

Hug your kids! Otherwise, they will not remember your smell when you’re gone. If I can endure this and have children later on, I will hug them all the time.

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