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People are gardening and cooking borsch while houses are still burning— Ruslan Horovy on the deoccupied settlements in the Kyiv region
People are gardening and cooking borsch while houses are still burning— Ruslan Horovy on the deoccupied settlements in the Kyiv region
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People are gardening and cooking borsch while houses are still burning— Ruslan Horovy on the deoccupied settlements in the Kyiv region

How can each of us help people from the territories liberated from the Russian occupiers?

The story of a legendary family and a woman who cooks borsch in the oven on the site of her ruined house.

Our guest is Ruslan Horovy, a writer and director who travels around the Kyiv region to help.

Ruslan Horovy: We have started to make our way to the villages that have just been liberated. So we ended up in Kukhari. This village and a number of others were cut off from the «greater land.» Bridges over the Teteriv River were blown up. It was very difficult to reach them. We carried first aid in our arms to Kukhari across the ruined bridge. Then we found out how to drive there. So — we just drove through the streets and shouted: «Everyone, come out.»

On one of the streets between the villages of Kalinove and Kukharska Sloboda, where there was a fierce battle and many of our guys were killed, I saw something moving. There was no house, nothing, only a fence made of wire mesh. I looked behind that fence and saw an elderly couple, husband and wife, Volodya and Galya. We were offered food and help, even though we were the ones to have come and help. I asked where they live and they said: «We live in the ‘Moskvich.’»

In their Moskvich car, they returned to the village. To their house that burnt to the ground. And now they live there. I’m petrified. This couple has children in Kyiv, but there is not enough space at their childrens’. And so they decided to return and rebuild. They live in a car and cook borscht in the oven of a ruined house.

I decided to come to this family again. As well as to a number of others. I always offer my help. No need for people to buy a house or give a lot of money. There is a phrase «Give people a fishing rod, they will catch fish.» If everyone takes on one or two families and helps a little, we will recover very quickly. People in the village plant gardens while their houses are still burning. If not, it will be too late. These are the traditions. They live on like this for generations.


Go to the Kyiv region. In the villages, ask people what they need. Imagine they need everything. So if someone brings one thing, and someone else brings another thing, it will be much easier for everyone.

  • Issues of assistance must be approached rationally. This is extremely important and productive

Photos: Ruslan Horovy

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