Незламна мама 4/10/2023 Read 5 min

Unbreakable Mom who lived under shelling and lost her husband in the war: "I was afraid to bury alive."

Yulia is a 40-year-old unbreakable mom from Kryvyi Rih. Until February 24 last year, she lived in Inhulets, worked at a school, and raised a daughter with her husband. But the peaceful and happy life of the family was destroyed by the war.

- Kryvyi Rih is a large city; we live in its southern part, in Inhulets. On February 24, we woke up to explosions. These were the Russian missiles not far from us.

During the spring and summer, we got used to shelling. They were often, almost every night. At that time; the Russian troops were located not far away, the shelling was often. There is no air alert during artillery fire; it cannot be tracked, so we knew about the fire when we heard the explosions.

We decided to stay in the city. Because if everyone leaves, whose city will it be? We spent the nights in the corridor.

Several times the shells burst very close. And once in summer, at 5 in the morning, a cluster bomb exploded into the yard of our high-rise building. At first, we woke up from terribly loud explosions, and then we heard such a rustling - it was small clusters breaking. In our apartment, the window frames flew out together with the panes. Everything that could be broken was broken. The car in the yard burnt down. Three people were killed that morning - a father with a daughter doing exercises on the sports ground, and a woman going to the early shift in a kindergarten. Death was very close...

In September, my husband was mobilized. Before he had never fired a gun; he worked as a crusher operator at a factory. I was greatly distressed, I lived from call to call, from SMS to SMS. I got a message that he couldn't reach me, so he is Ok, there's just no connection. On October 19, he and his group went on a counterattack in the Kherson region. And I did not receive a call.

I don't remember what I felt after October 19. First, I was informed that my husband was missing. And I was looking for him around the clock: I called all authorities, monitored Russian groups on social networks: hoped to see a familiar face among the prisoners. I could watch the video with the wounded 350 times, trying to find someone similar to my loved one.

Then I discovered that my husband's group was taken in a sack and shelled with tanks. This area was still grey, so our soldiers could not get there to take out the bodies and understand who was captured and who was killed. After three weeks, we got an access there. All the time, the bodies were in the open air, under the rain and the sun. And when they were brought to Kryvyi Rih in November, it was almost impossible to identify them. My husband liked leather bracelets. One of the killed defenders was wearing the same bracelet as he.

During identification, I felt that my beloved was there. But I did not want to be uncertain and bury alive. That is why I applied for a DNA test. The term is three months, but the queue is another three months.

I felt very strange: sometimes I cried, then I laughed. I have to admit, I didn't want to go to "Unbreakable Mom.” I did it for my daughter. Now I realize the correctness of the such decision. At the first meeting with a psychologist, I cried the whole time. I just cried all the time. And now I can smile. I began to understand myself better, my reactions. Now I know that I can help my mother-in-law who is mourning the loss of her son. And cope with the results of the DNA test and funerals. I tried to be strong for my mother-in-law, and for the child, but then I realized that I need to give myself time to be weak.

About the project:

The Unbreakable Mom rehabilitation programme is specially developed by experts in psychology and post-traumatic syndromes for women and children affected by the war. This is a 3-week offline camp where psychologists work with project participants. And then there is an online support. The shift when our heroine underwent rehabilitation was organised by Masha Foundation together with the Saving Lives Humanitarian Project.​​​​​​​ 


You can  support our Unbreakable Moms here: https://dobro.ua/project/nezlamna_mama_podarunki_za_donati/ ​​​​​​​