Restoring destroyed homes in Donetsk

Restoring destroyed homes in Donetsk

70-year-old Lyudmila lives in the village of Blizhneye, in the Donetsk region. Her home was heavily damaged due to hostilities in March 2022.
Article 24 November 2022

"We were at home that day, my son and granddaughter had just come to us from Volnovakha to wait out the shelling. They thought that it would be safer here. The day before, a shell flew into their garden and exploded near the house."

She describes how it was just getting dark, when suddenly there was a strike. Broken glass flew from all sides. Lyudmila's granddaughter jumped back, screaming, "Grandmother, are you alive?"

"But I couldn't see her, and she couldn't see me. Everything in the house was covered with rubble and dust from the roof. It seemed like there was fog in the house," recalls Lyudmila.

"Our only thought was to go down to the basement, but we didn't have a chance. Although when we came out later, we saw that the metal door to the basement was all punched through with shrapnel and the inside was covered with shattered glass jars. Our chickens were nearby in the barn. They all died because of shelling.

"In an instant, we were left without everything. I'm 70 years old, and my husband is 78. The windows were broken, the roof had collapsed, the rain was pouring, and plaster was falling on our heads. Everything that had been accumulated throughout our life—furniture, household appliances—everything is destroyed.

"In our old age, we're sleeping on the floor. We lay down mattresses, put on warm clothes, and sleep like that. Recently, when I dusted off my pillows and blankets, fragments fell out. I remember how we used to live and cry," Lyudmila says.

Lyudmila was very worried about how they would survive the approaching winter in the damaged house where the roof and windows were shattered.

With the ICRC support, Lyudmila's house and 80 more in Volnovakha and nearby villages have been rehabilitated before the onset of cold weather. The heating circuit has been fully restored in the houses, the roofs have been covered, and windows and doors have been replaced, which will help to keep the heat in the houses during the cold weather.