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A New Meaning to an Old Book

Story: Sergey, 2001 / Interviewed by Roberta

I still remember one of the first books that I read. At that time I was a very small child, five or even four years old. The book itself was from Soviet times, bearing the name ,,Everyone should know this“. It told about how to act during a nuclear attack, how to behave during bombing, how to dig out of the basement with a crowbar. I thought that we do not need to know this in today’s world and that it is part of the past.

I remember the MI-24 combat attack helicopter flying over our garden, which for me signified the beginning of the conflict, or the shooting from our railway station.

However, not ten years passed that I myself had to practise running to the basement in the case of bombing, observing people store their food and tools, so that, in case the basement gets filled with rubble, they can dig their way out. It was the end of May 2014 and I was supposed to go to the last day of school. I recall my mother nervously walking up and down, telling me to stay home. For me, as a twelve-year-old child, it was strange, but I was already watching TV and reading the news on the internet, so I roughly understood what was happening. I remember the MI-24 combat attack helicopter flying over our garden, which for me signified the beginning of the conflict, or the shooting from our railway station. Luckily, my city Rubizhne in the Luhansk region was saved from devastation due to the risk of blowing up a number of chemical enterprises, so it never came to us using this basement.

This situation has shown me that there‘s a silver lining in everything. As paradoxical as it may seem, it contributed a lot to my personal development. Propaganda on both sides has taught me to think critically. I also got involved in the activities of the Minor Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the department of which was transferred from Luhansk to my city because of this conflict. This engagement determined my decision to study history-archeology and law. If not for this conflict, it is unlikely that I would have become what I am now.

Sergey, 2001