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Sergiy Misochenko


Kryvyi Rih

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 was born in the last year of the last millennium and grew up in a small town - a ten-minute walk from Severodonetsk - the name of which, with a 99% probability, will not tell you anything. Thanks to my grandfather, I became interested in political news and world history from an early age, which instilled in me a total dislike for dictatorships, especially the communist direction (and then, same as now, I consider the current ruling vertical of the russian federation to be the reincarnation of the late "sovok"(t.n. derogatory term for Soviet Union, or people with soviet mentality), which is as if a rotten zombie is roaming around the world because, unfortunately, it was not buried deep enough in the nineties).


Since around 2009, I have been fearfully expecting a probable war right here in Donbas. Why? Well, because the russian federation began to germinate its sprouts among local authorities and criminality, because poverty, corruption and the Soviet mentality, which has not been completely erased from people's heads, are the ideal basis for the future that came knocking on our doors in 2014. Back in 2003 already, the public organization "Donetsk Republic" was created, and in 2004 there was an attempt to hold the first pseudo-referendum and proclaim the so-called "P(i)SUAR" (South-Eastern Ukrainian Autonomous Republic - a project to separate the southern and eastern regions from the rest of Ukraine and the formation of an autonomous entity). What I mean is that the current russia was moving towards what is happening now for almost the entire length of putin's rule. For the European reading these lines, this is relevant as well - they hooked Germans on gas in 2005, buying German politicians by Gazprom shares, at the same time they began sponsoring various far-right fringes in European parliaments.

2013 was one of the best and calmest years of my life. Then I went to the sea for the last time, to Crimea. There I met my first young love (Nastya from Luhansk, if you're reading this - you were cool, and I hope everything was fine with you later on). But everything has an unpleasant feature - it ends. When the Maidan started, I was sure that russia would try to intervene to protect its puppet. I was very surprised by the silence and relatively weak intervention of the russian federation during the Maidan, but this was before the annexation of Crimea… It was then that I understood: the next step is to import hell into Donbas. It was clear that all the money that the russian federation poured into the propaganda of its "ideas" would be 100% recovered here, because the russian federation promised the "vatna" (t.n. steadfast followers of propaganda from the russian government) society things that were closest to its heart - freebies and instant "greatness", just like in their favorite "sovok". Interesting fact: the majority of the "vatna" population that I asked did not even read the ballots about the pseudo-referendum. To my question: "what exactly are they voting for?", they answered: "well, it seems to be written there, that less taxes were going to Kyiv." It is strange, back then I was conducting pro-Ukrainian agitation among my neighbors in the occupied city, living 50 meters from the checkpoint of the separs, and I was much less afraid of everything than now. 

Sometime in March-April, "Cossacks" with Rostov numbers came to our city administration, the authorities from the former "regions" (t.n. pro-russian party in Ukraine, operated in the years 1997-2014) quietly handed over power to these people. They handed it over without a fight, "to prevent shooting." I was very glad that our government at that time had the courage to give the order to start the anti-terrorist operation. The city was under occupation for about two months, in the first month the shelves in stores became half empty. "Dyriavi" (t.n. ones who belongs to or support DPR)  began to connect their channels, which were filmed in the same pavilions as "russia 1" and "russia 24". Try guessing their name. I understood very well what kind of people these are and how much they love to lie. Therefore, to maintain a connection with reality, I read news from VKontakte, which then played approximately the same role as Telegram now. There I learned about the DPR "cellars" and about Strelkov's crimes, for example, the shooting and drowning of one of the city deputies of Sloviansk. It was expected and I didn't want, and still don't want to think, what crimes of the russian special services and "deployed troops" will be revealed to us after the de-occupation of our territories. Gradually, our troops advanced towards our city and hit with artillery the sections with separa´s checkpoints. They hit very precisely, but in my case it could have been a disadvantage, which would have cost me my life, because the separs placed their checkpoint right at the working gas station near my house. Therefore, every time our artillery worked, my mother and I hid away in the basement, where I usually read books and ate condensed milk to the sound of cannonade and the vibration of the ceiling in the basement.

I met de-occupation in a very curious way - in the X-ray room where my mother worked. No, not as a patient - she hired me because she was afraid that our house would get hit. I was happy about it for a different reason: the hospital had internet and communication, but because of the hostilities, I didn't have them at home. At night at work there was a very funny incident: in the evening we heard explosions near the hospital. We were not surprised, because half an hour before, some separ came to the nurses and said: "Girls, don't be afraid, we will test explosives." About 10 minutes after these explosions, a separist with a shrapnel wound in the thigh was brought to my mother's office. Try to guess: why? Be that as it may, on that day separatists fled from Rubizhny and Severodonetsk to Lysychansk after minor battles. I am very grateful to the AFU and NGU for the fact that, after the first unsuccessful combat reconnaissance in Lysychansk, they found the strength to surround Lysychansk from three sides and launch a second attack in the morning, thereby neatly dismembering the group of separs that were there. Because, if the siege had dragged on, they would have turned Severodonetsk, which is 100 meters below Lysychansk and in direct line of sight, into an artillery-burned hell.

On the way home, I saw a joyful crowd tearing the huge flag of the "LPR" apart for souvenirs. A guy passed us, about whom my mother said that he was sent "to the basement" for pro-Ukrainian activity, where they broke his leg. Unfortunately, we could not get a piece of history. The city rejoiced and came to life. There was an indescribable atmosphere. But eight long years were still waiting for us...

"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.

After the deoccupation of my city and the freezing of the conflict, life took its course. These were the best years of my life, because they were full of hope, hope for an interesting future, things like that. I spent four of these years in my hometown, and after finishing school and special professional training, I went to study at one of Kharkiv's universities. I liked Kharkiv very much, I would gladly continue living there, but I don't know if I will be able to do so during the war.

During these 8 years, I found real friends, one of whom - Vitaliy - came to my rescue and hosted me and my family, when from forest fires (which were caused by saboteurs, because fires don't start at the same time along the front line in 14 different places fires by accident) in 2020, my house almost burned down. I'll never forget how in the middle of the night I'm walking at night with bags full of things, the gachi remix is ​​playing in my ears, and ash is falling from the sky like snow. I wasn't particularly worried about the conflict, because Pynya (t.n. derogatory term for putin) really liked to forget forever the things that didn't work out for him. This was the case with South Ossetia, Abkhazia, his friend Assad and many other things. The best years in general were 2016 and 2019, but then - hello covid, hello - remote degradation and the gluing of all days into one slimy lump, which continues to this day.

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?
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To be honest, I did not think the invasion would happen. Because the forces that the russian federation concentrated on our borders were enough only to inflict terrible losses on these same forces. Jesus, the number of all armies on the borders of Ukraine was then slightly smaller than the number of the Armed Forces! That's not how you fight! But, as it turned out, the corruption in the special services of the russian federation was so comprehensive that Pynya was fed with fairy tales about a million-strong pro-russian agent network in Ukraine, the money for which this parody of the special service had stolen long ago; about the reformed army, up to a third of whose budgets were deposited in offshore accounts, i.e. engaged in what in russian is called "ochkovtyratelstvo" (t.n. ´eyewash´). We thank them for this invaluable contribution to our future victory.

I met the invasion in a hostel in Kharkiv, where I spent two weeks before evacuation. It is strange to say, but at the beginning of the war I felt I was exactly where I was needed to be, `in my own plate`, as they say. I know what to do, where to run, how to distinguish hits landing from leaving, I feel responsible for people close to me, whom I reassured and dissuaded from irrational things. It was very ironic and funny when, looking at road maps and recalling material from the history of modern conflicts and from my military department, I could predict the actions of the russians a week ahead. And here the praise is not to me, here is a salute to the General Staff of the russian Federation, which acted in the most sovok-like and formulaic manner. Then my friend and my girlfriend and I left the city on overcrowded evacuation trains. A very interesting experience, I will tell you, sleeping on the floor of the station, because there is no other way. My girlfriend went to her relatives in Uzhhorod, and then to Austria, my friend and I went to his grandmother in the Kharkiv region. Then - a month and a half later - I went to Kryvyi Rih, where I rented an apartment, and this friend became a master's student at a German university, where he is now going, through the academic mobility program. And I just didn't believe that I would be able to pass these programs, that I would make it with the money, and in the end I missed all the deadlines without believing in success - here's a lesson for you, kids: "Who dares — wins." Don't be like me.

I didn't really like, and I don't really like, my native region, and there are objective reasons for that. But I always liked Severodonetsk, it was like those sleepy suburbs from those movies of the 90s, but with white high-rise buildings and in a pine forest. That's why it was very, I don't know, strange to see my native districts, which were turned into a pile of bricks, in the columns of international newspapers and YouTube channels. Now I have moved to a rented place from Kharkiv, where I studied, to Kryvyi Rih. I am studying, I am trying to write a diploma on a topic that interests me ("A means of processing and automated analysis of medical images"), and I hope that this will open the door to a more or less decent life for me in the future, preferably related to science. The days since the first month of the invasion have stuck together like pasta, and I am now haunted by a sense of derealization and incomprehensibility of my future.

But we will win. In russia, they like to say: "We can repeat it again", meaning "we will defeat all enemies, like our grandfathers did in 1941-1945". But the idiots from the former KGB, as usual, got a little confused in the details and repeated it. But they repeated not 1941-1945, but 1939-1940. The war in Finland was repeated. With identical problems, about the same ratio of loss and shame. Because propaganda pictures fight very badly. With our victory, we will shake this KGB system and bury the remains of the "sovok" in russia, and, oddly enough, this will be the best gift for russia, its forced chance to become a more or less modern and humane society without revanchism. It was in Serbia with Milosevic, it will be the same with putin's russia. But it will be at least several years from now, so let's keep the powder dry. Not the best years await us, but we will become a European Israel. For sure. There's no other way. Oh, and listen to Taras Chmut and read "Militarny" - they won't say bullshit.

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