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Elizabeth Moroz



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 area where the parents' house is located started to get shelled at the beginning of July 2014. It is located on the outskirts of Luhansk. If I am not mistaken, it happened on July 3rd. At that time I was 27 years old. I was in the house hanging out my clothes after washing when I heard the first explosion, after which something fell on the roof. Like some kind of metal fragments. Then there was a second and a third explosion, and debris fell again. I did not understand what it was and did not know how to behave. My mother ran to the yard to take her grandkids home. She picked her granddaughter up in her arms, and the grandson ran alongside her. The explosions continued all this time. Only later did we realize that we shouldn't have ran in the open, because those were anti-personnel mines they used and my mother and my nephews could get hurt. She didn't understand that either, she just wanted to get them to a safe place. Later, there were reports of those who died due to shelling, including my peer, with whom I studied at the same school. My sister packed her things and went to another part of the city with her children and husband. My parents and I stayed at home. From that moment, shelling of the area with "grad" and other weaponry began. At that time, I did not know the types of those weapons, how they shoot and what sound they make, but later I began to differentiate them. One night I had to stay in the basement because there was constant "grad" shelling. The next day, my father forced us to go to the other end of the city, where we were provided with a basement to live in. I took the dog with me, and my father stayed at home. We were in that basement for a few days, but this area of ​​the city was also shelled, so soon it was dangerous there too. As a result, we decided to return home, but at one of the roadblocks we were turned, they said this area would be shelled again, so we had to go back to that basement. Later, my sister and her family left the city and we felt a little calmer that they were safe. We managed to return home after four days, but from that moment our area was constantly under fire, so we often had to stay inside the basement. My dog ​​was the first to run towards it even before the shots were heard. It must have felt something.
I often did not sleep at night and as soon as the first shots started, I woke my parents to go down to the basement. Later, all communications disappeared, so we did not get any news or the situation in the city, and only from gossip and personal observations it was possible to glean at least some information. My sister wrote letters to us and delivered them through drivers who went to the city.
There were a lot of household chores during the war. In the daytime, we had to chop wood to light a fire, cook food, and bring water to the house. Father went to get groceries, but we were never sure that he would return, as the markets were also often shelled. So we lived for three months. During this time, many acquaintances and distant relatives died and were buried in yards, like right now. In September 2014, the first truce was announced and the active phase of hostilities stopped for some time. But I understood that this was not the end.

"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.

From 2014 to 2016, I was in Luhansk. In 2014, my parents did not want to go away, so I decided not to leave them alone, to stay together, because it is always easier to go through any difficulties together. In 2015, when the active phase of hostilities ended, I started traveling the cities of Ukraine to see where it would be better to move to. Already in 2016, I decided to move to Kyiv, on account of it being a capital, with more prospects, chances to find a job and arrange my life. In Kyiv, I found a place and went to journalism courses. Before, I always dreamed of learning to write and tried to work as a copywriter, but the war pushed me to go into journalism, because I saw how much propaganda there was from the beginning of the war by the russian occupiers, and it was difficult for me to come to terms with it. That's why I decided to become a journalist, in order to tell the truth. I worked in various editorial offices, but mainly wrote about lifestyle, business, and agriculture.
I rarely got to write about politics until 2022, when full-scale war broke out. All these 8 years, I did not stop thinking about the war, worried about my parents, because Luhansk was periodically shelled. Also, life in the city has become unbearable, people have become poor, there is no proper medicine, prospects, work and no feeling of safety . I constantly thought about it and I had to work a lot to help my relatives financially all these 8 years. I didn't give up because I understood that I had to succeed in order to fix my life and make my parents' lives a little better. All these 8 years, I often visited my parents in Luhansk, but I always returned to Kyiv with great sadness knowing that my hometown turned into a gray ghost town. And now other cities of Ukraine are experiencing the same thing. 
I believe that the war influenced my decision to become a journalist and I do not regret it. I still live in Kyiv.

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 23, I couldn't fall asleep for a long time and I monitored social networks until almost three in the morning. I had internal anxiety after watching the address of the President of Ukraine on the evening of the 23rd. In this address, there were no prerequisites that a full-scale war would break out tomorrow, on the contrary, the president said that there was no cause for concern, but I did not believe it. I was able to fall asleep only after taking a sleeping pill, and on the morning of February 24, a relative called and said that the war had started. Only then I heard explosions, a siren and saw a huge number of messages from colleagues, acquaintances and friends. I immediately went to the bathroom to collect water in a large bottle, because I thought that the city might run out of water, therefore I needed to make a large reserve. Then I called my parents to let them know that I was all right. After that, I opened my laptop and contacted my colleagues. We quickly decided what to do and after that I started covering the events.
I knew that there would be a full-scale war, because I understood that the conflict in Donbas is like a cancerous tumor that sooner or later will start to grow. Such a concentration of russian troops and military personnel on the borders with Ukraine also  indicated that they would attack. Only I did not believe that it would happen in winter. I thought it would start in the spring.
Now I am in Kyiv. I didn't want to go anywhere when the bombing of Ukrainian cities began. I work as a journalist, and with the understanding that my work is now important here in Ukraine, I stayed.
I believe in Ukraine and will be with my people until the end. It will be difficult, but I want to be here because this is my homeland.

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