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Anastasia Klymenko


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.

I hardly remember 2014, I was 9-10 years old. All I can remember is how at that time bombs were getting dropped on Lysychansk from airplanes, and I ran for bread to the store near my house and heard everything that was in the sky. We sat in the basements with other people from the building and tried to calm ourselves down while the tanks rumbled around the outskirts of the city. Every time we heard "landings" while sitting in the kitchen, my grandmother said that she has lived her life already, it’s needed to can the tomatoes, and you all go to the basement. Then my mother told me about how in Lysychansk there were intestines just hanging on the trees and I couldn't understand it... These were real stories.

"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.

For all 8 years I’ve been in my hometown . I hardly remember anything from my childhood. I can only say that after the age of 14 I had PTSD (*post-traumatic stress disorder), for a long time I was afraid of loud noises, but I was very young and my memory just pushed it all out of my head.

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?

My mother worked in an organization that helped people from the occupied territories. All week, I woke up in the morning from the conversations of my grandmother and mother: they discussed what to do if the war was coming here. We all believed that it would somehow pass by our city again. I was the only one who panicked. I said that we should pack an emergency grab bag. A few days before the 24th, I was saying with determination that I would not go anywhere and that this was my home. February 24, 8:20 and I am standing with my tutor at the ATM in a huge queue. A car with no bumper goes past us, driven by a policeman. He went into the building for 5 minutes and then took everything out in a blanket. 8:28, my mother calls me and says that at 9:00 we are leaving, we are driving to who knows where. At 8:30 I was already at home and about 8 minutes later, my grandmother and I heard the first explosion... The first one, during which I already said goodbye to my life. Two minutes later, the second one happened and the whole time I couldn't even move, I started having a PA (*panic attack), I couldn't breathe normally and tried to pick up at least some of my things. At approximately 9:05 we were already in the car at the intersection with my brother and mother and heard the third explosion. The moment when you just want to pause the time and not feel all this horror. Right now I'm in Warsaw, trying to take pictures again,
make videos, get rid of nightmares, anxiety and get used to loud noises and helicopters. In the future,
I would like to make a documentary about all this, people's stories and so on. I can't say anything definite about the future, because I realized that every day can be the last and you have to enjoy everything you already have and not give up.

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