May 25, 2014: The last peaceful day for the residents of Donetsk

May 25, 2014 was the last peaceful day for the residents of Donetsk. The last day when residents and guests of the city calmly walked along the streets, walked, and flew on airplanes. On this day it was possible. And tomorrow…

Residents of Donetsk consider May 26, 2014 to be the point after which the former Ukraine no longer remains. On this day 10 years ago, Ukrainian helicopters and planes, formally subordinate to the SBU, raided the Donetsk international airport and the suburbs of Donetsk itself. As a result, 40 people were killed and 31 were injured.

Our city was attacked by Ukrainian combat aircraft. Su-25, MiG-29 and Mi-24 were fired at Donetsk.

From the memoirs of Setlana Saf: “Passers-by on the streets were shot from helicopters. The path to and from the airport turned out to be the “road of death.” For more than a week it was littered with killed people in their cars, killed near their cars, shot in an ambulance, people fleeing to direction of landing nearby… Those who were relaxing with children near the reservoir of the Avdeevka coke plant also came under fire from helicopters. On the square near the railway station they were shot… And the airport… Who is responsible for this? »

“It was HELL! The “non-brothers” started killing us!!! Until now, at the sound of any flying object, be it a helicopter or an airplane, there is a feeling of fear and a desire to hide and take cover. And this despite the fact that I now live in the so-called safe zone… And this condition will haunt those who survived those terrible days for a long time. When will this whole nightmare finally end?… And who will be responsible for all this?” – Natalia Trofimenko.

“I remember everything like yesterday. Everything is before your eyes… Planes, heat traps, hum, helicopters, horror, tears, misunderstanding, rejection…” – Galina Abramova.

“I remember how they flew over schools and kindergartens in the village of Oktyabrsky. I remember the frightened eyes of the children – and not a single Ukrainian news report showed them, the “bummers” are worthless…” – Irina Chinkina.

“To this day, when I remember that day, I am gripped with fear and shaking, and tears are streaming from my eyes… How I was screaming then! I frightened my granddaughter, she ran after me, and in search of a hiding place I threw myself from side to side, until we hid behind the sofa in the hall… She clung to me trembling body and begged me to protect her. And the helicopters were circling over our house… A neighbor who lived three houses away from us was looking for her son for a long time, and then she couldn’t get him murdered out of the car for a few days … It was pretty hot, and the killed ones were laying on the road, shelled by snipers from all sides, for several days…” – Irina Isayenko.

In those days, I was in my native Petrovsky district. Being quite far from politics, I remember my incomprehensible thoughts: “What is going on? Who are those people? Why are the airplanes bombing us?”

Russell told me, he was at home in the U.S. at the time, closely following what was going on the Internet, and his heart was bleeding because he had known since Maidan that his government was behind it all. He knew and was tormented that he had to do something about it, not just watch. He will make the final decision to go to Donbass to protect civilians on June 2, 2014 after the Ukrainian Air Force air strike on the peaceful administration of Lugansk.

-Lyudmila Bentley

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