The bombing in Eastern Ukraine, known as the Donbass, has gone on for almost seven years, and began in the wake of the 2014 American coup in Ukraine. Over the years I have followed many of the heart breaking stories that constantly emerge from the Ukrainian Army’s ongoing attacks on innocent civilians and their children, and the infrastructure that once supported them. Anna Tuv’s story highlights the turmoil of this war and the heartache left in its wake. The so-called “revolution” (known as the Maidan) was ramped up in February 2014 with bloody riots in Kiev, where many people were killed or wounded, and paid snipers ramped up the chaos several notches by killing both police and protesters.
This was a classic CIA controlled event with people bused into Kiev and paid to create mayhem, as happened in many other CIA coups – the Iranian coup in 1953 forming the template for future coups. Most of the incriminating videos taken at this time have been wiped off You Tube. I post this story here to highlight what is happening in the world that is rarely if ever covered by mainstream media. ~ Juliet Bonnay
Patreon Sun, 14 Mar 2021
On 26th May 2015 Ukrainian armed forces started a brutal attack, shelling the residential city of Gorlovka. This is a day Anna Tuv will never forget.
As a result of that shelling, her husband and 11-year-old daughter died in the attack. Her two-year-old son sustained multiple wounds, and her new born baby suffered concussion. She herself was seriously injured and had her left arm torn off. The family home was also totally destroyed.
Four years later, in 2019, Anna became a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I, like many others wondered how Anna coped with all this trauma so I managed to secure this interview with Anna so she could tell us more about what happened on that fateful day on 26th May, 2015.
At Anna’s personal request I have made this interview freely available for all to read.
How old are you?
I am 37 years old
Where are you from?
I was born on 03.10.1983 in Gorlovka. I am 37 years old and my parents are Russian from the Kursk region. My father is a miner and my mother is a mechanical engineer.
What happened to you and your family was horrific and there can be no excuse for it. The Ukrainian army shelling its own people. Can you please tell me what your life was like before your home was shelled?
Before the tragedy I worked in a hospital for 10 years, I am a surgical nurse. With my husband Yuri we lived for 8 happy years in love and joy. I gave birth to 3 children. We had a large household, birds, pigs, a cow, and a vegetable garden. My husband was interested in cars. We had a shoe store and we were far from politics so there was no time for news and TV.
We had a very laborious daily routine and we didn’t have time to watch the news. Zakhar was very small. We sometimes heard about the unrest in the cities, but there was no awareness that the war had begun. We were sure that this next “orange revolution would soon end.”
Comment: However, the regime in Kiev had other ideas; a civil war in Eastern Ukraine had long been planned, and the chilling sentiments and intentions were clearly expressed by Bogdan Boutkevitch on Ukrainian TV Station hromadske TV, financed by the Dutch and US Embassies in Kiev, where he stated in July, 2014:
“Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. I don’t claim to have a quick solution recipe, but the most important thing that must be done – no matter how cruel it may sound – is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.”
We did not watch the news at the beginning of events in Kiev and other cities. We did not go to rallies and referendums. We had small children and Yura protected me from events where there could be provocations and bad news.
That was almost until 5 a.m. in early June 2014 when a plane flew over the roof of our house and 3 kilometres away from us began to drop bombs on the city. Within 40 minutes Yura took me and the children out of the city and we left for Crimea thinking that this is a frightening terrorist attack and that in a week we will be able to return home.
Yura returned to Gorlovka a week later, but I didn’t agree with this decision so I stayed with the children. It was the most terrible summer. Most of the people and children were killed then by the Ukrainian army and volunteer battalions. The city was bombed from aircraft and with them using heavy artillery. Most of the infrastructure was destroyed.
I watched this news with horror. My husband came to pick me up in Crimea several times to return home, but I could not take the children under fire and put them in danger. At that time there was a huge flow of refugees to Crimea, so our paths divided. I stayed with the children in Nikolaevka and Yura returned home. I was in complete despair, as I was without any contact with my home and without money in another country. Then, Crimea became Russia, and we found ourselves without the right to legally stay longer than the allotted time in this territory.
To survive and feed the children, I had to work very hard. Everything was very expensive such as housing and food. 9-year-old Katya and little Zakhar were without me for 18 hours a day whilst I worked nearby in a bar. Katya brought Zakhar for me to feed to in his pushchair. Every day I cried and really wanted to go home, to my family, husband, parents, and friends. But seeing how my city Gorlovka was burning in fire, I could not take my children there.
I started trying to apply for documents at the Migration Service in Simferopol so that I could send Katya to school, and Zakhar to kindergarten, but then the summer ended and so did the seasonal work.
I realised that we could not survive without money in Crimea. During this period, the first Minsk Agreements were signed, and I believed that the war was over. After so many deaths and fierce battles, we returned home and were so happy that our family was together again.
After 2 months of truce, hell began on earth. At that time, Katya was already at school, and Zakhar was at kindergarten. At this time I was already pregnant with Milana. During this period, they (Ukrainian armed forces) bombed almost every day – hospitals, schools, kindergartens, heating systems, distribution points humanitarian aid and supermarkets.
Nowhere was sacred. We slept almost every night in our neighbours’ basement or on the floor in the hallway. We did not have our own basement, we had just started building it.
This was until the spring when the following Minsk agreements were decided. On the 12th May 2015 I gave birth to Milana. On that day there was a heavy shelling in our area. We left the hospital an hour after the birth because the children were waiting for us at home. On the 21st May 2015 Katya turned 11 and we had a celebration.
Many children came, and in the evening there was heavy shelling again. On the 26th May Katya had her last day of school, and at 5 pm the Ukrainian military bombed our house. 2 direct hits to the house took the lives of Yura and Katya. My arm was torn off. Yura covered me with his own body. Zakhar was seriously wounded as the house fell on him. Milana was also in the room.
Before the shelling, a drone was flying low over our house, we only managed to run to the threshold of the house, and at that moment a shell fell into the corridor.
Trying to pick up the pieces and sort your life out after this must have been terrible. You lost your home, husband and daughter. You only had the use of one arm also. Who helped you?
After I came to my senses in intensive care, I did not want to live. The understanding that my husband and daughter had been killed totally destroyed me inside. The first person who was in my ward right after intensive care was British Journalist Graham Phillips . He came every day and helped me cope with the grief. He filmed the funeral of my family. Then Russell Bentley came . He also helped a lot.
When Russell Bentley in Texas saw Inna Kudurudza in a video, her head raised to answer a man’s frantic calling, and her eyes looking straight into his before dying, he made the decision to go to the Donbass to fight on the side of the so-called ‘rebels’. Bentley now does humanitarian work in Donbass, helping people who have been adversely affected by this ongoing war.
Then there were many journalists from various TV channels and newspapers, so from the news my tragedy was already known within a few days in many countries. On that day, not only my family died. There were others who died, including many wounded. The next day the Ukrainian armed forces killed a 3-year-old child. 2 months later shells hit the house of our close friends and my friend died. Ennio Bordato, head of the Association for the Rescue of Children, contacted my mother, and he supported us. So gradually, in Europe they learned about what was really happening in Donbass.
Thanks to Ennio Bordato and comrades from Italy, I got a bionic prosthesis. Graham Phillips and Russell Bentley also helped a lot to organise financial assistance for our family. After the tragedy, we were left without anything at all. My life and our house were completely destroyed. Milana at that time was 14 days old, Zakhar was 2.5 years old and if it were not for the help of all these people and volunteers, we would not have survived.
The head of the republic helped us with housing. Later in 2016, Volunteer Vladimir Pilevin took us all out of Donetsk during one of the shellings in his humanitarian vehicle and took us to live in safety. Here we are still, my children, me and my parents.
Many people will ask where you found the strength to continue with life. What was the biggest force making you carry on and bring up your remaining children?
My little seriously wounded children were a huge force for me to continue living and I understood that I was their only remaining parent, and the most important person for them as they were very young. All my attention turned to their rehabilitation. Zakhar received a disability from his injuries. He has severe post-traumatic stress disorder. In taking care of them and in the bright memory of my beloved husband Yuri, I found my consolation.
I was also raised with a huge love for life. The greatest support came from of all these people, and without it I would not have survived. From resuscitation to this moment, my mother was with us every minute. I left Gorlovka for Donetsk. After all, it became very difficult to come to my beloved city because of the painful memories. I decided to enroll at Donetsk Medical University and get a higher education.
To be a doctor had been my childhood dream since I was 6 years old. Later I went to learn how to drive and got a driving license. Then I decided to tell the whole world about what was happening. My inner world has changed and so have I. I started helping a friend to help vulnerable people and affected families. It gave me something to live for.
Has the Ukrainian government ever offered any kind of apology, explanation or compensation for the attack?
After what happened, the Ukrainian government, instead of helping us at least with a prosthesis, persecuted me by laying out all my personal data, my location on the Peacemaker website as a terrorist, and an accomplice of terrorists who lost her hand near Gorlovka. This was done when they were already talking about it all over the world news.
The interview of Yuri’s mother was changed, where she curses the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and her question: “Why did they kill my child? We did not run around the Maidans, we lived at home with our family.” They edited this and wrote in captions that she says this to Russia. I filed a claim in Strasbourg against the Ukrainian leaders who were responsible for the execution of my family and today my claim is duplicated in the Moscow Dorogomilovsky court.
The Ukrainian government in every way prevented my departure to Europe for prosthetics so that I would not give testimony there about what happened to us. I had to go to Italy on a refugee travel document, since the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities did their best to obstruct and insisted on my personal appearance in Ukraine for a passport despite all the appeals of sane European Organisations to them, I later told about this in my speech at the UN.
I understand that you now help other families and children with humanitarian aid. Can you tell me more about this please?
I represent the widows and mothers of Donbass and today I do everything to help them. After my speeches in Europe, I travelled to many countries and parliaments. I was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, volunteer Aid, anti-fascist committees, simple people in Europe, and organisations began to transfer financial assistance to the residents of Donbass.
I brought and sent this through volunteers and with this money they bought food kits and delivered them to the bombarded areas. We were able to visit children with New Year’s gifts and later I began to send clothes, shoes and toys regularly with humanitarian convoys from Moscow.
Women played a big part in the Great Patriotic War fighting against fascism. And again, in the Donbass war we see women standing up to fight again. Not always as soldiers but as correspondents and aid workers etc….They seem to show amazing courage and strength. Can you say anything about this?
The women of Donbass have suffered greatly for all these years. There are still the mothers of more than 250 children that have been killed at the hands of Ukrainian nationalists. Many of my friends such as teachers, doctor and mothers with many children decided to protect their children from the nationalists and prevent them from entering our cities.
Many Russian women sold property and donated funds to save ethnic Russians in the Donbass region. For me, mothers who lost their sons in the militia are heroic women, because continuing to live knowing that your child is dead is a slow execution, and these women of Donbass still find the strength in themselves to support other families and injured children.
After what happened to you and your family you would think that the bombing of civilian areas would stop. However, I understand that Gorlovka still comes under heavy shelling from Ukrainian forces. What can you say about this?
Today, the republics (Donetsk & Lugansk) are subjected to daily shelling, and breakthroughs by Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance groups. With the arrival of the new president of Ukraine (Zelensky), the situation has not changed. There are still a large number of civilian deaths and targeted shelling of residential buildings.
Torchlight processions (held by the far right) still take place in cities controlled by Ukraine and there are still calls in all Ukrainian media to destroy Russians and their children. They live under the ideology of destruction, glorifying the murderer, nationalist and cruel criminal Stepan Bandera (in framed photo).
How do you feel about the Ukrainian armed forces shelling and killing their own people. Surely there can be no reason for this?
I regard the shelling of the territory of the republics as a true genocide of the population, there is no other name. The reason for this is the cleansing of the territories of people. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities said this directly to me when we meet on TV, stating: “You, Russians, are genetic trash for us, a cancerous tumour that can only be destroyed. “
Why do you think western mainstream media do not want to report on this conflict from the pro-Russian side? Surely it makes sense to give a fair and balanced view to both sides of this war, yet they do not seem interested in doing this.
Western leading media do not objectively report what is happening, firstly because of the enormous propaganda and the inability of witnesses to the crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to personally travel to Europe and prove what is happening.
Secondly, because of the enormous pressure from the United States, I hear about this in every country in Europe. In vain did the Ukrainian military barbarously kill European journalists who were filming the Maidan and the crimes of the nationalists, just because there was no information leakage to Europe.
How do you feel about mainstream media like the BBC who came to Donbass in the early days and wrote terrible things about the people there and why do you think they did this?
I think that media such as the BBC who came to Donbass and wrote terrible lies about people are well paid by the US government. I met a lot of Russophobic journalists in Europe who do this for the sake of an idea because of hatred of everything Russian.
Are you aware that many people in Great Britain do not even know that there is still a war ongoing in Ukraine?
Many in Great Britain, as well as in other European countries, do not know that there is a war going on, because the information is carefully filtered, distorted and the information blockade does not allow people to learn about the fate of the people in Donbass.
Many more people live by the principle “well, this is not with us, it’s so far away, our children are alive and everything is calm.” That is why the Ukrainian military, after the barbaric murders of entire families, calmly receive rehabilitation in Europe, jobs in factories in Slovakia, claim their rights in the Czech Republic and today they are mocking the local population, because they will no longer be.
What would you like to say to people in the West who are told by their media that you and the people in Donbass are terrorists?
Western media accusing the residents of Donbass of terrorism. What can I say? I invite you to personally to come and see for yourself and visit the destroyed residential quarters of the republics, the destroyed infrastructure and the cemeteries of dead children shot in the playgrounds of kindergartens and schools. I would lead them along the avenue of angels, where there are monuments to all dead children, most of whom did not live to 12 years of age.
The media themselves can look into the tired, exhausted faces of pensioners who have gone through the Great Patriotic War. The same people who are now living in hunger with broken roofs and windows, so that the media will remember who liberated Europe from fascism, so that they just stay with us for at least a week, see what is happening themselves, maybe then their opinion would change.
What do you think it will take to bring peace to this region?
I believe that in order to establish peace in this region, at least all the points of the Minsk agreements must be fulfilled. There is no other way. Recognition of the republics (Donetsk & Lugansk) in a special status will stop the conflict.
What are your hopes for the future?
My greatest hope for the future is, of course, peace in my homeland and recognition of the new republics (Donetsk & Lugansk). A great dream is that the entire Russian population (in the new republics) would receive Russian passports by right, and that the territories bordering on Russia will not live under the leadership of Ukrainian rulers.
The same people who have now driven the whole country into crisis by plundering resources and the state treasury, and have made their citizens slaves by repressing them with huge overstatements of tariffs in the field of housing and communal services.
Finally, do you have a message for people in the West reading this interview who do not know much about this conflict. What would you like to say to them?
To the people in the West who are reading this interview, I want to say that we are people too and we want to live. We are not terrorists and we have not occupied anyone. We were born here and have lived for all of our lives in the Donbass. Our families have worked in these coal mines and we built our own world stone by stone.
We will not go anywhere just because they came to us from another part of the country (Kiev) with thugs. They brought with them weapons and a demand to recognise their ideology of destruction, national socialism, corruption and dishonour. We are Russians and this is not what our grandfathers fought for. They never fought and died so that we that we should live in such a world.
I ask you, the reader, to share my interview with as many people as possible. I am a living witness to the war, and there are thousands of such fates. Without sensible European Organisations, we cannot reach the world. 13,500 people have suffered during the conflict and it continues to rise. Please help to stop the genocide.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed with the European Court of Human Rights and not a single Ukrainian military has been punished for barbaric crimes.
- Graham Phillips
Graham Phillips was an English journalist working in Odessa at the time of the February coup in 2014. When he lost his job, he decided to record the atrocities that unfolded in the Donbass region after the Ukrainian Army launched its deadly assault on the mostly Russian people living there, who did not recognize the American puppet installed as president. Phillips was captured and deported twice, was wounded under fire, and many of his videos were destroyed. Below Patrick Henningsen talks to RT about Phillips’ deportation.
2. Russell Bentley
Russell Bentley is interviewed shortly after arriving in Donbass to join the fight against the Ukrainian Army and the private battalions who began the civil war in Ukraine. Read more about his story in What An American Learned Fighting With The Pro-Russian ‘Rebels’ .
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