Nadezhda and Vasily's house after the ICRC-supported repair work. Photo: Evgeniy Ryasnoy/ICRC

Russia-Ukraine international armed conflict: Repairing damaged homes, helping families stay warm in the winter

Nadezhda and her husband Vasily are from the village of Blizhneye, in the Donetsk region. They were school sweethearts who have been married for many years.
Article 29 November 2022

This year, on a March evening, they were at home as usual, with Nadezhda resting and solving a crossword puzzles. Vasily was in another room, watching TV. It was quite a normal evening. "I didn't hear an explosion. There was a hiss. I heard my wife's scream, plaster fell, and the room was covered with a cloud of dust," recalls Vasily.

There was a direct hit on the roof, just over the room where Nadezhda was. She was buried under the rubble and wounded in the leg. "When they started shelling, I hid under the computer desk and clung to the wall," shared Nadezhda.

I heard an explosion, and in the blink of an eye, everything collapsed on me. I looked up - the ceiling hung over me. I began to get out from under the rubble, through the labyrinth of the collapsed roof and broken furniture, huge nails sticking out of logs. The explosion was so strong that the door to the room was shattered in two parts.

I looked around, saw the blood, I began to make my way to the bathroom, but the ceiling also collapsed in another room. Somehow, I managed to crawl and bandage my leg.

- Nadezhda

They left that same evening to stay with relatives there for some time, after which a neighbor gave them shelter. When they finally returned home, there was no electricity and water, and resources to repair their home.

Vasily and Nadezhda lived in just a small kitchenette, where they slept and cooked. The gas was still turned off at that time, but the electricity had resumed functioning. When it rained heavily, they collected water inside the house since there was no roof. The onset of winter has been a source of great fear.

Our teams brought building supplies to Blizhneye which Vasily and Nadezhda were able to use to fix their home.

"In two weeks, everything was rehabilitated - the roof was completely restored, new windows and doors were replaced. Now we are not afraid of the approaching winter," said Nadezhda and Vasily.

This year, with our support, 80 damaged houses in Volnovakha and nearby villages benefited from roof repairs, the installation of new windows, and replacement of damaged doors. Additional general repair works were caried out where necessary to help people spend this winter in their homes.