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Kateryna Tyulyeneva



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 14 years old. I lived in the village of Stara Krasnyanka and went to school in Kreminna. I don't remember the exact date, perhaps May 20, when the hostilities began. Early in the morning they blew up the bridge to Lysychansk, which was very audible here. I could hear automatic gun bursts somewhere not far in the forest. I left the house at eight o'clock and went to school, because we had our yearly physics test. I reached the highway and a column of APC’s and tanks with our soldiers passed right in front of me, 15-20 men on top. They waved their hands. And it was the first time that I saw the military not in movies. A school bus came for me alone. I wrote the test, but there was no second lesson and the whole school escorted me to the bus and the driver took me home.

I remember how at night in my bedroom, through the window, I saw shells flying towards Privillya by our house. I also remember how our house was searched by soldiers. It was around six in the morning. I opened my eyes, and in front of me was a guy with a machine gun, and another one was inspecting the rooms. There was also a time when I called my friends and played this sort of game: I said that I heard an explosion, and they told me when the sound would reach them. Sounds got from Krasnyanka to Kreminna in 8 seconds.

"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.

In 2014, hostilities did not last very long. Maybe in the summer, but in the fall it was already quiet. The checkpoint stood for a long time. I think not much has changed for me then. I studied, worked in a granite workshop, and painted portraits on monuments. Graduated from the Kharkiv Academy of Design and Arts in 2021. My diploma project was called "Premonition". Since 2019, I have worked as a teacher at the Kreminna Art School

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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?

I am on maternity leave. Husband is gone to work at six o'clock. I went back to bed, but I didn't have time to fall asleep because he returned and told me with horror that the war had started. I heard explosions. Then at eight o'clock my mother called and said that my grandmother had died. My husband told me to pack up and go to the village. I'm shaking all over. I gather my things, a car pulls up and I go to Stara Krasnyanka with three-month-old Alisa.At first, I thought that it would be the same as in 2014, that it would not last long. But about a month passed and at five in the morning "grad" flew into the firewood, all the windows in the house blew out. I ran with the child to the neighbors and sat in their basement. We stayed there for a week, there was not enough food, and I am breastfeeding. There were days when I ate one potato a day. I decided to evacuate. We walked to Kreminna by foot. Houses destroyed in the village and things flying over our heads at the time. We reached the checkpoint, and got taken there. We traveled from Lyman on an evacuation train. Now we live in Ostroh in an ordinary house without comforts. Before us, no one lived there for three years, and earlier my grandmother did. The house was neglected, but we tidied it up a bit, planted a vegetable garden. There are no plans yet, the main thing is that me, my child and my husband are alive. Now I am painting a landscape in a limited palette. There was enough money for 4 tubes: black, white, blue and yellow.

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