Luhanske, eastern Ukraine, Nov. 2017.
Mariya Vasilyevna, 58.
With her house in the background, pock marked by shrapnel, she describes the time when four artillery shells exploded on the property in 2015. Fired from pro-Russian separatists’ positions they destroyed the roof, all the windows and their car.
Her son and his uncle heard the shellfire getting closer and managed to get a few steps into their cellar before the first one landed in the courtyard. Because of the increased intensity of the attacks she had already left and didn’t return for 8 months.
The roof was repaired through support from the UNHCR, but they still need new windows and will have to carry out repairs to these and the rest of the extensive damage themselves.
As this is a military town the situation is still dangerous and only a few of her neighbours have returned home.
She owns a cow and survives by selling milk to the local market to support herself and her father, who lives with her.