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! I am 12-year-old Veronika from Chernihiv — a city in the North of Ukraine that was besieged at the start of the invasion. Together with my mom, stepfather, and little sister Varya, we tried to escape from the hell that it became.
During the evacuation, my stepdad left the car to remove some rocks from the road that were in the way. The last thing I remember was him yelling: “Get out of the car!” and my mom covered in blood. As soon as I stepped out of the car I was gone… A shard hit me in the head. My stepdad too died on that road.
My family thought I was more grown up than my age. I had wise and calm eyes. I responsibly did everything that was asked of me and was very independent. Mom says that she never had any problems with me at home or in school. We used to chat a lot like best friends. I always wanted to add joy to life: I made my own gifts for my family and friends. Once with the help of my friend, I prepared a surprise for my mom and stepdad — a romantic dinner for two. We made a salad and potatoes with sausages.
I enjoyed making videos and had several social media pages at once. I didn’t know yet what I wanted to do in the future: my dreams were always changing — from a dentist to a lawyer. In the end, I didn’t get to make this choice.
My family liked to go on walks in the city. I spent summers in the countryside where I enjoyed swimming, riding my bike, and doing sports. One time on a camp trip I saved my friend off the lake when she started to drown.
After I was killed by a shard my mom Vika and my baby sister Varya hid inside of an abandoned building. Then they were captured. For a whole month, my loved ones lived at gunpoint in a school basement. I was buried in the forest and later when Russian soldiers left Chernihiv I was reburied. After everything that happened to them my mom and Varya evacuated abroad. Mom is waiting for the war to end so they can finally come back home.