Letter from Donetsk to a Ukrainian soldier


War in the Donbas

Article by: Natalia Klimenko

(original version-Ed.)

Hello dear stranger, my soldier so close and dear to my heart! I don’t know who you really are – an infantry soldier, a reconnaissance expert, an artilleryman, a tank commander or a National Guard soldier – you are my protector and the defender of Ukraine. I want to thank you and all your brothers from the bottom of my heart! THANK YOU!

I’m sitting and writing this letter at home in Donetsk. I hear heavy artillery shells pounding outside my window. You get used to them, as long as they don’t explode right under your feet, as long as your home is still intact. But, that’s so far from what you actually see and feel every day. I understand that with my mind and my heart.

My heart breaks in two every time I read about the daily casualties during ATO operations. I first grieved very deeply when the military aircraft was shot down over Luhansk and 49 men were immediately killed. I wept for them as for my loved ones for days on end. The next disaster took place in Zelenopole. When I found out what had happened, I wanted to scream in terror and pain. Then came Saur-Mohyla, then Ilovaisk, then another and another. I wish with all my heart and soul for you, my dearest soldier, for your brothers and for all our patriots, to survive, hold out and defeat the enemy…. and return home where your loved ones are waiting for you.

My closest relatives have left Donetsk. My daughter went to Kyiv, my sisters to Lozova in Kharkiv oblast, my sisters’ children – some to Mariupol, others to Kyiv.

My sisters left early August, after spending 24 hours in the bomb shelter of the Topaz plant. They took the first train out, wherever it was heading (those were the last days of the Donetsk railway station) and ended up in Lozova. People have helped them there. Now, all my relatives are trying to convince me to leave too, because I’m all alone in Donetsk. Me and my cat, Dianka.

You know what I tell them? I want to stay in our city and see Ukrainian soldiers, tanks and vehicles moving along our streets. I want to see our city liberated of this “DNR” evil; I want to see blue and yellow flags everywhere. By the way, neither my relatives nor my close friends took part in the “referendum” and no one voted for the “DNR”. Our conscience is clear before our Motherland. My family and I believe that the mere idea of having a “referendum” and wanting to break up our country is totally unacceptable… and to make matters worse, so is the whole idea of joining eastern Ukraine to Russia. A lot of people think like me. Don’t believe that 80% voted for the “DNR”!

I don’t sit around twiddling my thumbs. I’m helping the army as much as I can. I give money to the Wings of the Phoenix Fund; I’ve also helped the 79th Mykolayiv Commando Brigade, the 72nd Mechanized Brigade, and the 25th Dnipropetrovsk Commando Brigade. I’ll keep on helping… until we win, and then I’ll help the men who need therapy and rehabilitation treatment. I also help the I.I. Mechnikov Clinic in Dnipropetrovsk, where the most severely wounded soldiers are treated.

I’ve been following the events at the airport very closely, through Phoenix and other volunteers, and information on the 062 Donetsk city site. They reported daily from the airport. “Today Donetsk airport fighters repulsed two attacks launched by “DNR” militants.” …. or “Last night, terrorists launched four offensives against Donetsk Airport. They were driven back. Our troops have suffered no casualties.” It was so nice to read such reports. But, how painful to watch those videos showing our destroyed armoured vehicles near the new airport terminal and knowing that our soldiers died in them….

You know, my dear soldier, when I sat down to write this letter, I felt waves of emotions overwhelming me. But, I talked to you in my head, as if you were standing right there in front of me. It’s turned out rather dry and flat on paper. But, I’m so glad I’ve written to you. It’s been clear for some time that the liberation of Donetsk will be difficult and very long, but I’ll wait as long as I have to. I’m waiting for you. Please come to my town, stay safe and sound!

Natalia Klimenko, retired, Donetsk


Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Source: Radio Liberty

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  1. Avatar W8post says:

    “Hearth braking…” (still, wondering how a ‘simple’ woman knows which soldier belongs to what part of the army…just crossed my mind…)
    title of the photo: WINGS of HOPE

    1. Avatar Rascalndear says:

      She’s probably not “simple” in that sense. I had a retired journalist from Donetsk living with me recently. And like the rest of us, she knows a lot more about the military today than she ever imagined she would want to just a year ago!

      1. Avatar W8post says:

        What ‘sense’? Simple as in ‘straight forward’; simple as in ‘uncomplicated’; simple as in ‘NOT biased’; simple as in ‘NOT bigoted’. GOT IT, rascal???

    2. Avatar gmab says:

      Beautiful photo.

  2. Avatar Brent says:

    Citizens like “Natalia” are the reason Ukraine cannot just abandon Donbas. They are Ukraine. They are what makes it a country.

    May God protect you, and all the other “Natalia’s” still in Donbass

    1. Avatar Faith Chatskiy says:

      Save Ukraine from nazism. Stop ethnic cleansing in Donbass region, stop your government from bombing peaceful people in DNR and LNR

  3. Avatar Richard Hoover says:

    Heart breaking letter,,,,plese read this everyone,,,,brave lone woman i Donetsk war zone.

    1. Avatar Faith Chatskiy says:

      Do not make people laugh at your stupid words about heart breaking letter, which was written by somebody in Kiev.

      1. Avatar canuke says:

        Oh, you are so sure of your details? Of course there are many patriots of Ukraine still in Donetsk. For them, I grieve, but have hope that we shall overcome the rabble from the east.

      2. Avatar Richard Hoover says:


  4. Avatar caotama says:

    You sound well mental, Natalia

    1. Avatar Rascalndear says:

      Definitelty troll. Admin, please block.

  5. Avatar caotama says:

    Dear Natalia,
    Thank you for your letter.
    When the victorious forces of our Fatherland retake the rebellious East, you will be sure to enjoy the fruits of liberation.
    Unlike your neighbors. Who will be gassed.
    Nuland’s ‘Yats’

    1. Avatar Rascalndear says:

      Troll? Either that or some kind of sadistic freak.

    2. Avatar canuke says:

      You are a real jerk. Trying to be funny?

  6. Avatar Czech Friend says:

    We’re with you, Natalia!

    Citizens of the free world. (so far)

    1. Avatar Faith Chatskiy says:

      This letter is a fake. Nobody in Donetsk could write such a nonsense while they see how Ukrainian soldiers are shelling their city, destroyingit and killing peaceful people

      1. Avatar gmab says:

        They were peaceful before the Russian maniacs started bombing, stealing, raping, killing. A very high percentage of locals don’t want the Russkie “devils” there. They learned early on what a phychopath Putin is.

        1. Avatar Faith Chatskiy says:

          You can keep telling yourself this delirium about Russian maniacs and Cheburashkas

          1. Avatar gmab says:

            I’ve seen plenty of videos of the drunken scum fighting for Russia & so-called Rebels. Also of locals chasing out the thugs & their drug addicted leaders! World v. Russia (who is the blind one, Faith?)

      2. Avatar sandy miller says:

        Change your name from faith to liar. It’s you DNR traitors and Russian mercenaires killing peaceful people in UKRAINE. pLEASE GET OFF THIS SITE i CAN’T STAND TO HEAR FROM YOU pUTLER TROLLS ANYMORE. I cry for bleeding Ukraine becuase you rotten bastards are killing the country.

  7. Avatar Rascalndear says:

    Is there a Ukrainian or Russian version of this? I’d like to share it with my Ukrainian friends, not just expats. Please respond.

    1. Avatar W8post says:

      Translate it yourself, you moron!

      1. Avatar Rascalndear says:

        I don’t know who you are, but you are unbelievably rude and should be banned from this site. Try taking a couple of valium to calm your nastiness down.

  8. Avatar Guest says:

    Can the claim of $1 million being raised for the Dnipropetrovsk hospital (tweet from today) be confirmed through a reliable outside source (in Texas perhaps?)? I’d like to know how the money will be transferred and its spending monitored. That’s one heck of a chunk of moolah. And an article on who this woman got donations from…

    1. Avatar W8post says:

      You shouldn’t be a ‘guest’ here. Bugger of. You’re claiming and complaining what has been written all over the place. You just didn’t want [?] to read it! The money is already spent. AND ACCOUNTED FOR! talking about trolls……

      1. Avatar Rascalndear says:

        For your information, Mr/Ms rudeness personified, there is NOTHING in the US or Texas press about this person and their miraculous fundraising skills. I googled her name in several different versions and came up with nothing other than the article here. I find that strange.