On August 25, 2014 early in the morning 13 yo Kirill Sidoryuk, his 9 yo sister Tanya and his mom Oksana Burakova went to the market. It was coal miner’s day and in the light of celebrations people were handed two loafs of bread per person for free. After getting food three of them were heading home. They chose to cross the closest checkpoint to their house. However, local self-defense forces adviced them to take another route since they expected to get shell by Ukrainian army. Oksana and her children chose another, longer route home. Before they reached their house shells began to fall.
Oksana lost conciousness and when she woke up she was terrified at the sight in front of her. Next to her there was body of Kirill covered in blood and under him was Tanya. Boy have died covering his little sister with his body. Oksana started calling for help, but it was too late.
-“In the morgue they told me to pick up Kirill’s body next day since they had no electricity in the building. I was pleading people to help me make a wooden coffin, but shelling started again and everyone ran for cover. There were no coffins at the funeral agencies. They said that they had a list of people waiting for coffins for weeks. I found some wooden planks on the attic. Also, I bought some yellow drapes before the war began. I used them to make a cover for the coffin.” – said Oksana. “I’m really thankful to my neighbors. They helped me bury my son at a cemetery, not in the back yard as many are forced to do.”
When the shelling stopped, Oksana and her daughter left to Zhitomir to her relatives. Tanya went to school, Oksana got a job as a nurse where she is not making quite enough. Volunteers always try to help them with food and clothing. Life goes on, but that horrible day when she lost her son will never be forgotten.
– “He (Kirill) was a home boy. He loved to cuddle up in front of a TV. That day when he decided to come with us to the market to get some bread I was somewhat surprised that he came. He rarely went outside and here it was such a breakthrough.” – Oksana remembers – “Kirill loved math. After he came home from school he would often sit behind a desk with books and a pencil. He read a lot and had good memory. When I worked at coal mine and got home at around 8 pm he would have hot tea and scrambled eggs ready. Tanya has hard time without her brother too, she’s left by herself.”