Ukrainians affected by profound personal loss reach out to Western companies that refuse to cut business ties with the aggressor state and continue to pay taxes to the Kremlin, thus helping fund Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression. Together with partners, B4Ukraine collected numerous stories of personal loss from ordinary Ukrainians and their plea to Western multinationals to exit Russia as soon as possible.
Hi, everybody! My name is Artem. In a few months, I should have turned 16 and become all grown up and independent but in March a Russian rocket bombed my home. My family – mom, dad, my two younger brothers, and grandma – died with me. The day before we were going to evacuate from Sumy, we had already packed the suitcases but we didn`t have time to escape.
If I could describe my life in one word it would be “sports”. I wasn’t even 6 when I started taking judo and sambo. With persistence, I achieved great heights. In 2021 I won the Ukrainian Sambo Championship and in a year I should have participated in the World Championship in the Netherlands - I got a place on the national team.
I didn’t stop before anything in my desire to be the best in sambo – strict diets, training two times a day. But I never forgot about my responsibilities in school and at home. I was a good student and took additional lessons with tutors. My teachers remember me as level-headed and smiley. I was the oldest among three brothers and always tried to take care of my mom Katya. I did my best to help her with everything.
As a family, we used to go on vacation a few times a year. I wasn’t fond of laying on the beach for hours, I much preferred something active like skiing. I was dating a girl from my class for a year and began earning my first money at my dad’s job.
The Russian bomb that fell in our backyard ruined everything. I will never know the feeling of being in the World Championship… I will never be accepted into the university I dreamed about… I will never come of age. My future and the future of my entire family was bombed by Russia.