Life in the occupation for the second time

I haven’t seen my hometown for eight years. War… I have been familiar with this word since I was 13 years old, I lost my childhood and peaceful life then. The morning started with a rainbow in the sky, but it was deceptive — tanks with tricolors passed by my house. When I asked my mother why they were here, I didn’t receive an answer. That was in 2014, and now it’s 2022, and it has happened again. I live in an occupation.

Berdyansk is my second home, this is where my family moved after the occupation of Horlivka. But, unfortunately, it was seized on February 27, 2022. About 10 pieces of equipment entered the city. And again I saw 2 tanks through the window. There were tears and questions: why are they here? Thus began the month of survival.

In the first two days, people bought up all products and hygiene items from the counters. There was panic. And later, when there was nothing left, they speculated raising the prices.

Yes, there was no shelling in the city. Some said that Berdyansk was surrendered to the invaders without a fight, that our soldiers disappeared a day before the occupation. Some people said they were sent to hot spots. But there is no confirmed information today.

Life threw us new challenges, we found ourselves without connection, television, and radio. Long queues at banks, pharmacies and shops. Shortage of goods and steep prices. Existence without gas and heating, then March just began. It was very cold in the apartment, we wore all the warm things we had. But this didn’t improve the situation.

The city authorities didn’t agree to make concessions to the rashists, but at the same time didn’t hold peaceful rallies.The acting mayor left Berdyansk, he went in the direction of Zaporizhzhia. He reported important information for the residents of Berdyansk from there.

Civilians are sharply divided over the issue: some were not against the invaders, most of them were pensioners, while others went to peaceful protests and supported Ukrainian independence as best they could. Now the protestors who were able to get to the territory that is under control of Ukraine continue their activities, and those who remained have either been found or are being sought by rashists.

The occupation has been continuing for five months, and no one knows when this nightmare will come to end. First, I want to live in the free city of Berdyansk, which has become my second home.

Translator: Bohdana-Nikolietta Terekhina