News agency 'Vchasno'

Saved a Loyal Friend: in Donbas Woman Covered a Dog with Her Body during a Shelling

A resident of one of the villages near Kramatorsk (Donetsk oblast of Ukraine) was evacuated by local volunteers. The woman survived dozens of shellings and saw the deaths of fellow villagers. One of the deaths happened a few hours before she was rescued from a village that was under fire.

Tetyana tells «Vchasno» journalists that her village is located between two hills. Russian shells systematically hit the settlement. The woman with her dog came under fire outside.

«The shelling started, and at that moment Bimchyk and I were walking down the street so that he would stretch his legs a little. And when explosions started everywhere — he ran away, and I was trying to hold him! He could run away anywhere, and then what will I do? Where must I go to find him? When Bimchyk is with me, I can look after him. So I lay down on the ground and covered him with my body. He was afraid, rushed in different directions — I had to hold on to the collar, now he is coughing a little,» Tetyana says.

When the volunteers arrived, the woman did not have time to take anything with her. She says she grabbed a skirt and shirt, documents, and most importantly, took Bimchyk with her.

«Everyone was shocked after the shelling, especially the neighbors. Our houses are next door — two cottages, one house where my fellow villager lived. In my parents' house. And after the shelling, there was nothing left. But they decided to go the next day to have time to collect things. And I came to them, I thought they would take me, and I would take Bimchyk on my knees. But they've told me, „Tanya, no offense, but all we take now is all we have.“ So I went with volunteers. And if they said they wouldn't take me out with the dog, Bimchyk and I would walk,» the woman smiles sadly.

There was no talk of leaving a dog in the village. Tetyana says that without her the dog will perish — he will not take food from anyone, only from her. If the cats still find a bird or feed them, Bim will not survive.

«He is such a loyal friend, trusts only me. So how can I leave without him?» — Tetyana says, while Bim sniffs everyone who approaches the owner, and lets in only the volunteers who saved them.

There are only two dozen people left in Tetyana's village. First, everyone left the village, then began to return. And when enemy shells began to take the lives of fellow villagers, they again went outside the area. The woman told journalists that the village was there, but now it is almost non-existent because it is almost completely destroyed by shells that are regularly sent by the Russian occupiers.

«They destroyed a lot of things. My house is intact, but not for long. And houses of neighbors were shelled a lot of times … Many died in the houses or near them,» Tetyana says.

Now Tetyana and Bim are looking for a place to go — without her four-legged friend, she says, she won't go anywhere, and she won't give him to anyone.

«We ran together from the shelling — then together we will be until the end,» — the internally displaced woman says.