These are not ordinary people

I’m tired of hearing complaints about east Ukrainian refugees who do nothing to help themselves. Most of the east Ukrainians I have met here have worked all their lives, only to be kicked down again and again by economic collapse, by political machinations and greed, by army bombing and by sadists and bandits given license by war.

How do they carry on, when life is so hard, and so hard, and so desperately hard?

They all say “We are just small people, just ordinary people. War is never kind to us ordinary people”.

They are not politicians or oligarchs, they are not the ones designing and financing this war. No. They are the nurses who kept working in hospitals even while there was bombing and who treated everyone, Ukrainian or separatist; they are the miners who worry that the mines will flood and collapse without them, they are people like Roman, who even when his finger was chopped off just picked himself up and went back to work because he has two kids to feed, whose wife is now in Gorlivka being bombed but still working because someone has to bake bread for others to eat.

These people are not ‘ordinary’. They are inspiring and heartbreaking.

Pictures from the Good News church rehab centre, being rebuilt by refugees from besieged towns after it was shelled. You can read my story about it, and about Roman, here   

Volunteers and refugees from besieged towns rebuild the Good News rehab centre in Slavyansk

Nona in her oasis. Good News rehab cente in Slavyansk, now being rebuilt by refugees

Nona in her oasis. 


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