Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

There are veterans in the Smolensk region who live without gas stoves, fridges and TV. In some flats of the veterans even floors are collapsing. A group of enthusiasts bought presents and went to visit the veterans and help them somehow.

Presents For the Lonely

The Smolensk region, village Monastyrschino, 450 km from Moscow.

This is Lyubov Dmitrievna and her story: “My brother was hanging behind the window for a whole week and I saw it each morning. Mother was begging on her knees to take him off but was only hit by a club”.

Presents For the Lonely

Lyubov Dmitrievna is a widow of the war veteran, she lives alone in her little house: old photos in frames are on the walls, plain and cosy. She likes to watch TV series but her TV set has broken. It was the best friend in her loneliness.

“We didn’t live at all, we saw only cold and hunger, nothing but them!”

Presents For the Lonely

The volunteers presented a new TV set to the elderly woman. She was touched and looked even younger at once, was crying with joy and such attention to her. But the volunteers had 8 addresses more ahead.

Presents For the Lonely

Praskoviya Sergeevna was the next, she’s going to turn 90 in October. Her husband was a front-line soldier who died after the legs amputation, he had been serving for 16 years, 1940-1956.
The guys presented her two sets of products and a new TV set and flowers, of course.

Presents For the Lonely

The volunteers are listening to stories about the war with shudder.

Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

Vasily Nikolaevich is a machine gunner, has been living with his wife for 60 years already. They wanted a washing machine and they got it. Soon the veteran will have to obtain a certificate for a new flat, because they have no necessary facilities now. Daughter takes care of two lying elderly parents. The volunteers got the information that the local authorities didn’t want to give the certificate to the veteran but when the information reached Moscow they immediately changed their mind…

Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

Tamara Nikitichna was found in her garden. She is 86. It is sad to see the house where tries to survive the lonely elderly woman: no water, no stove. However Tamara Nikitichna got a certificate for a new flat and her children bought a house in Smolensk though they disburse the funds under the loan from the granny’s pension. She says that the situation of her children is not easy and she has to help. It seems they come here only for her pension..

Tamara Nikitichna used to wash linen in cold water in the war time …

Presents For the Lonely

Her husband, a front line soldier, died 12 years ago.

Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

She goes to a water pump dragging a pail along the ground. Lonely veterans are not trendy nowadays…
The granny got products and a used TV set. She also wanted valenki because it was cold in rubber boots.

The volunteers decided to help her regularly by sending packages and getting information of her life. A social worker visits veterans for 360 rubles ($12) a month (why not for free?), so the volunteers covered three months of such service for the granny.

Attention is often more valuable than any presents, flowers etc., loneliness is a hard trial for any person…

Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

Galina Nikolaevna lives with a disabled son, she also asked for a washing machine. She’s a widow and a former nurse.

“Germans came and executed everyone by shooting and hanging.. It was so scary, I will never forget all these gallows!”

Galina Nikolaevna cried with joy and such an unexpected visit and attention. She kept asking “Who’s the chief? Whom should I thank?” The volunteers were crying themselves…

Presents For the Lonely

Time to move further

Presents For the Lonely

Nina Nikolaevna lives alone, she is a widow aged 86. “What should I do for a present?” – she asked. Was really surprised that she got it for free.

“I was in many places, was in trenches.. Mother died, I was growing with a step-mother”.

Every house is another story about the war and survival, about fear, privation, grief. But grief comes in peaceful time too, three years ago son of Nina Nikolaevna sank. Grief of mother will never be cured by time…

She got a TV set, the most precious present for a lonely person.

Nina Nikolaevna is visited by a social worker who brings food and water from a well. Her house is clean and cosy.

Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

Larisa Fedorovna, a widow. She worked for 30 years in a library and 10 years at school. Husband – front-line soldier, disabled person of group I, she took care of him for 5 years, carried him, he had come from the war without his left shoulder, then his legs became paralyzed and he soon he died.

“I will never go to ask for anything. I am not a person of that kind. I have a house, a place to live in, let those who have no houses get it instead of me”.

She refused to get food, took only a newspaper. “Thank you, guys!”

Presents For the Lonely

Lyubov Petrovna is also a widow of a veteran. She worked in a kolkhoz for 46 years, had been living with her husband for 30 years. Her husband told that when he was encircled he boiled belts and ate them till the liberation…

Lyubov Petrovna has 5 children, one daughter died, her grandson served in Chechnya, returned but sank in a lake. She lives with two sons, one of them is an alcoholic, the second one will never refuse alcohol too. Both of them do not work and live on granny’s pension that is almost fully spent on alcohol. That’s the reality of a Russian village – no work, no morals. Their house looks like being dated the 19th century.

She misses her daughter who died very much. She would put things right in the house… The woman got a gas stove, a fridge and food as presents from the volunteers and also was happy to be given new bed-clothes.

Presents For the Lonely

Mikhail Alexandrovich was celebrating the 55th anniversary of coupledom with his wife Zoya Tikhonovna.

Presents For the Lonely

The volunteers were warmly welcomed and offered to eat. They had many tasty things on the table: patties, jellied minced meat, cold vodka… Like in a fairy tale!
He was called up to the front in 1944, then was staying in a Minsk hospital after being wounded.

Presents For the Lonely

“Germans set fire to hay to burn all the village down… They thought the wind would spread the fire along the houses. Granddad took an icon and went to the field for a prayer. The wind dropped and the hay burnt like a candle..”

Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

Presents For the Lonely

Check for the presents.

Location: the Smolensk region

20 thoughts on “Presents For the Lonely”

  1. This makes a nice, albeit touching, change from the duck-faces and fake plastic bodies. Keep things like this coming, ER.

  2. i have unanswered question.. Does everyone in russia (especcialy old people) feels that germans are evil at the past?

    Some propaganda in poster, letters, etc that i found in englishrussia.com article about abandoned place or soviat at the past, give me information that soviet people hate WWII & germans

    • Russians never hated Germans in fact.
      As a quick proof: go find a single photo of a Russian soldier posing against a killed German — if you can, but there’s no any, while there’s a plenty of German photos like that.
      Russians fought for their homes and families and their country not against the German nation (it was not only german soldiers but most of Europe in fact I hope you know that) but anainst the foul fascizm and violent ruthless capitalism which pushed the world into a war.
      That’s really what people were thinking and doing.

    • My granny lived in occupation. Germans didn’t burn villages here(South Russia) as it was in Belarus and central Russia,but still she afraided them and said that they didn’t have any maners! german soldiers could fart near women inside of their house like its a common daily thing. Other granny told how she saw a murder of 5 years old boy. German asked him where his daddy,he said-beatting german as*es! So he took him for his legs and kicked at the wall. Smashed his head.

    • Close to 30 million soviet citizens died as a result of the war with Nazi Germany. Not much incentive for Russians to like Germans, even today.

      But that doesn’t mean all Russians hate Germans, certainly not.

  3. It’s so sad to see these pensioners, who suffered so much in their younger years, still suffering in their old age! May God bless these people and the volunteers who are helping them! What is the name of the volunteer organisation?

  4. We need to see more articles like this and less articles about silicone women . These volunteers are the best examples of Russian generosity in a society that seems to have forgotten about the older generation.

  5. Hey Dian, from what I have been able to tell,it is not that the Russian people hate Germans; it is that they hate Fascists. Does that make sense? Also, many people think that Russians don’t like Americans; this is not true. Russians are very well educated and realize that much of these so called “feelings” are from politics/politicians.

  6. Happens all over, the USA too. These people offered their lives, for their country, some gave it. And yet, after time goes by, they’re treated very poorly.

    It really ticks me off, that in the USA, so many government employees, like government school “teachers” (which are failing horribly) get so much more than veterans that gave so much more. Some of these people have wounds that may never heal, yet, failing teachers make so much more money, get so much more in benefits. And can’t even do their job.

    (thanks to unions)

    • I know of no teacher that gets the benefits that a retired veteran or a wounded vet gets what teachers get free health care gets to shop at a less expensive tax free post exchange(military grocery store)what teacher gets 1/3rd of thier highest pay for retirement what teacher gets home loan benefits? None unless they happen to be a vet and receive benefits for that reason.

      I am a vet myself and sure the VA sometimes sucks but we get better benefits than any other citizen.No member of a union gets FREE health care like an active military member does or a retired/wounded vet does.

      You have no idea what you are talking about in your post you must not be a vet and must not be aware of the many VA benefits because you would not say such things if you where.

  7. What a nice thing they did to these elderly ww2 generation folks, who probably think the world has forgotten about them, what they had to put up with and what they did to beat back the invading Germans.
    Sadly, in less than 10 years, there will probably not be any ww2 veterans left.

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