Denys Kotelevych
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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 Denys or as my family calls me - Denya. I’m 9 years old and I come from Zelenodolsk. It’s a small town in Dnipro Region. I’ve got a copy of myself – a twin brother called Ruslan. Together with my mom, Grandma, and our dog, Ruslan and I were on a walk in the park when it was targeted by a Russian multiple rocket launcher.

The rockets fell around us in a checkerboard pattern. I can’t remember much – the pain in my body from the shrapnel, my mom and brother screaming at me to stay with them and stay alive, and people in white coats…

My wounds were too heavy, my heart stopped on that same day. My family survived. Since I was little my brother and I did everything together – he was my best friend and my support. In school our favorite class was PE. In our free time, we attended a football section and liked riding our bikes and scooters.

We never forgot about our Grandma and we were always eager to help her with gardening. Ruslan and I always wanted a puppy. Not long before my death, we got one - we rescued a sick dog. When it got better it stayed with us. We spent a lot of time on walks with him and tried to train him. That’s what we were doing when the enemy rockets found us.

Now Ruslan will have to live one life for the two of us - him and me… He still struggles to realize that he has lost his closest person. He is angry and often nervous. But I won’t be coming back. Even though for my family I’m still here. On the New Year`s Eve, they put up and decorated a small Christmas tree on my grave and left me my favourite sweets.

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