I was born in the Dnipropetrovsk region but I spent more than 30 years in Donetsk. I built my house there with my own hands. It was a spacious house, with two stories and big French windows. It was a dream house. The war reduced it to a pile of rubble.
When the Euromaidan [pro-democracy protests] began in late 2013, I traveled to Kyiv to witness it. I was happy this was finally happening in our country. I know who Viktor Yanukovych, our ousted president, is because I'm from the Donetsk region, too. I was against his election, I never voted for him. I always knew it would end badly.
Unfortunately, I was the only person on my street with this opinion. People started walking around the city brandishing Russian flags and shouting "Russia!" Then Ukrainian television was shut off. The only channel we had access to was run by the DNR [Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine's Donetsk region].