I was working at my computer when I suddenly heard the loud roar of a plane, somewhere not really far from our apartment building. The roar stopped as suddenly as it appeared and I got back to working. A phone rang. A weeping woman asked to talk to my son (he is an ambulance doctor). I said to her that he was out of town. She hung up. Then there was a ring of the door bell. I went to open the door, and I saw a pensioner, running down the stairs. I could not understand what was going on, so I just followed him. Something wild was happening outside. Crowds of people and ambulances and fire vehicles were all going in the same direction: towards the airfield, which was some 500 meters in the distance.
I also ran. I still get shivers when I remember the things that I saw: fractured planes, vehicles, fire, and fragments of human bodies scattered all over the field. Those creatures that were laughing, applauding, walking around and breathing now turned to burnt human meat. I am not trying to pretend to be a hero: I fainted several times as well, and I could hardly return home.
This was the end of the air show that was arranged by the new Ukrainian military men; the local air corps decided to celebrate its anniversary. It was a very good sunny day, and a lot of people came out to see the show with their children. The country’s defenders showed them aerobatics, killing 83 people in a blink of an eye.
City mortuaries and hospitals were packed. My son and his wife are both ambulance doctors, and I can’t believe my ears when they come home after work and tell their stories. They are doctors, but they are also shocked, despite their dozens of years of experience.
The presidential team arrived in Lvov, and President Leonid Kuchma said, “This was not the crash of our defense; it was the crash of the Ukrainian state structure.” Precisely. Ukraine's ambitious officials do not understand that a state is a very complicated mechanism, which requires incredible will and tension to become efficient. However, mines blow up in Ukraine one after another, and military exercises turn into attacks on civilian objects. Ukrainians lost the Soviet state and they failed to establish one of their own.
I went to pick up my son’s wife from the hospital, and I peaked into the emergency department. Young boys and girls turned to human stumps: no legs, no arms. The whole department was smeared with blood, and pale faces were everywhere, as well as tears, weeping, and screaming. Then there were the journalists, trying to poke their noses in every ward, asking their “super smart” questions to dog-tired nurses, doctors, and to those in bed.
The government announced that it would transfer money to the catastrophe fund. However, the hospitals of Lvov suffer from a serious lack of medicine, bondages, and other medical materials. The president should have given one or two thousand dollars. Just in a symbolic way, maybe it would be a good example to follow for local rich men. However, he did not do so. You can hear that on television – authorities promise big money for the future, but the people are suffering right now!
Politicians are running their intrigues behind the curtain. Hundreds of Lvov citizens came to donor stations to stand in long lines, hoping to help with their own blood. I can’t write anymore, I am sorry.
V.Serdyuchenko Lvov Ukraine PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov