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’m Vova. I’m 14. I died when Russian bombs fell on our house in the village of Yurivka in Zhytomyr. On that night my mom, older sister, and her two babies died too. Only our cat and dog survived among the ruins. Dad was at work in Kyiv when it happened. In one moment he lost his entire world: his family and home that he and mom had built for us.
I grew up level-headed and thoughtful. I liked everything related to computers. Like many kids of my age, I was fond of online video games. My parents maybe didn’t always understand what I was doing but they never refused to help me. I could easily ask my father to buy me something for my hobbies.
I wanted to be a video game tester when I grow up. I dreamed about buying my own apartment in the capital. But first I needed to finish the 9th grade. I couldn’t wait to go to college and start learning what I was really interested in — programming. But my parents insisted that I finish school first. I didn’t have time to start the 10th grade.
I had close friends. My dad says I knew how to tell the good from the bad. I chose my company carefully. Of course, we all loved to sit at the computers but we had things to do outside as well. In the summer we often went to the riverside and had picnics. Lately, we began working out outside. I also collected soda cans. I was very proud of my collection.
I was living with my parents, sister, and nephews. I often helped my sister with her little one, our family was close. We went on a couple of vacations a year: in the summer — to the seaside near Odesa. We traveled around the Carpathians in West Ukraine. When we could we went mushroom hunting together in the forest. The year I died our parents planned to get a trip to Istanbul for me and my sister. There we would have celebrated our birthdays. My sister dreamed about this trip. I too was excited to visit Turkey.
Now our dad is seeking solace from grief by helping other people who also suffered from the war.