Daryna Sydorenko
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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.

Hello! My name is Daryna, for 15 years I lived in Kharkiv Region — in a town called Derhachi. I was killed in the middle of March. When the attack on Ukraine started my mom, dad, my two younger brothers, and I were living daily in the basement. On the 13th of March there was no bombing so we went back to our house for a couple of hours. During the night the enemy started firing again — we didn`t have time to run back to the shelter. I jumped into a room next to me just for a second when our house was hit by a shell… I was covered by the rubble. “Our daughter is gone”, — daddy said when he reached my hands. The rest of my family was lucky — they survived.

Since I was little I was developing very fast: I started walking and talking early. I had a phenomenal memory and at 2 I could already easily remember a text my mom read to me. I could recite it word for word. It helped me excel at various pageants in kindergarten and in school — I was always at the center of attention. When I started school I didn`t need to learn poems by heart — I would just read them through once and be ready to repeat them.

I was a purposeful child — I reached every goal I had put before myself, I loved learning new things, I was a leader in my class and a straight-A student. During the full-scale Russian war on Ukraine, I decided where I would study after school. I wanted to tie my future to the Border Service and defend my country. Mom was wondering if I was sure about my choice. Would I be ready to live in a military barrack? But I was sure — I knew I could do it. “Daryna, this is your farewell salute” — dad said at my funeral. When I was buried in Derhachi missiles were flying back and forth over my family and friends. Soon after the funeral my parents and younger brothers escaped to Poltava. For now, that’s where they are staying, they’ve got nowhere to return home. And it`s still very scary there.

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