top of page

Anzhelika Fedorova



How did you experience war in 2014? What do you remember from that? How old were you? How did 2014-2015 go for you?
Please tell this story in detail.

The war came upon my graduation. I was 17 years old and was finishing the 11th grade in my native Severodonetsk. And back then, actually, I wasn't interested in politics at all, I was only thinking about completing my studies, passing the external examination and entering the Faculty of Journalism. But my ambitions were not included in the plans of the russian federation. I had to take the exams in Kharkiv. Youth and anticipation of the new clouded my perception of reality at that time. Moving to a big city, even for a short time and even in the conditions of war, seemed more like an adventure than a forced measure. The fact that in 2014 my city was extremely lucky compared to other settlements also had an impact. Although there was an occupation, but without a frantic invasion, and the city was returned to Ukraine quite quickly. I didn't even have time to understand the changes, or I focused too much on myself. However, one moment clearly remained in my memory: the 8th floor, my parents' apartment, I am sitting at the computer, my father is smoking on the balcony. Explosions. I jump on the spot and run to the window, where my dad is."Lysychansk is suffering," was the only thing he said.

I look towards the neighboring city (from our windows there is a beautiful view of Lysychansk and its residential quarters). Just in front of my eyes, shells are hitting high-rise buildings. This understanding, that right now people are dying there, help is needed there, but at the same time the complete powerlessness in the brain of a 17-year-old girl gives a strange effect of accepting the situation. Acceptance that vibrates with physical pain in the chest. And that's all.

As I said, normal life returned quickly as soon as the Ukrainian military entered the city. And I successfully entered Kharkiv University on a correspondence basis. I continued to live in Severodonetsk, got my first job and took my first steps in adult life in a still young Ukrainian city.

"Where were you these 8 years?".
How has this time passed for you, what changed in your life since the events of 2014?
What has influenced you the most during this time?
Please write in detail.

With the first steps in adult life came the first spontaneous decisions. In 8 years, I managed to live in many places: Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa. Fortunately for me, not because of combat, but because of the thirst for something new. All this time, the front was not far from my city, but it seemed that it would never come close to the borders of Severodonetsk.  Even when, over time, I got a job as a journalist, and then became the editor-in-chief of the city TV channel, went to the military and thereby reminded myself that the war is not over, thoughts that the bloodshed will become even bigger, and Severodonetsk will at one moment look like ruins, were not present at all. The city was developing, becoming more progressive, more beautiful, the air smelled of new life and by no means new deaths.

This stability, new perspectives and opportunities influenced me. Of course, only for the better. But I could not and did not want to remain apolitical. The new president only fueled my desire to immerse myself in the affairs of the country, and my work did not leave a chance to be on the sidelines even more so.

What was February 24, 2022 for you like?
Did you believe that a full-scale offensive would begin?Where are you now? What do you do?

What do you think about your future now?

On February 24, at 8 am, I was supposed to go with my sister to see a stand-up show in Kharkiv. Until two in the morning, I successfully immersed myself in my past feelings for my ex, and when I returned home, I no longer considered it necessary to sleep. Because the trip is coming soon.
I did not expect war. But it knocked on my door at 5 in the morning with a message in a telegram from a friend in Kharkiv: "We have explosions." I reread the text, surprised. Explosions? In Kharkiv? Why would there be any? If something starts, it will definitely start from Donbas. Next is a news feed and a video of putin. He declared war. The first thought was to wake up my sister and decide on something, but I could not accept this reality. The evacuation notice from the regional authorities made me seriously afraid. If they are already officially calling to leave, then something terrible is coming.

The following days were like in a dream: living in a basement, checking the news every minute, explosions, searching for groceries, no communication, no electricity, then no water and gas. And finally evacuation.


A month of life in the Dnipro, but still worries and sleepless nights, because it was still too close to the front. Departure to Rivne, as if to safety and to understanding that the former life is already far behind.


Now I'm staying here, my city was "taken" by the occupiers. My parents' apartment got completely burned down, mine is still standing, but I'm not planning to go back. I simply won't be able to see strangers in my hometown, I won't be able to stay quiet, calmly look at their satisfied faces. I am waiting for Severodonetsk to become Ukrainian again. And it will be.

bottom of page