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Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The story of nine-year-old Vladik from Donetsk, who received heavy wounds and was left an orphan as a result of UAF shelling, shook everyone so much so that offers of help come from all corners of the world.

The film crew of the Federal News Agency went to the hospital to find out how the little patient is feeling. We very much hoped that there were improvements in the condition of the boy. And indeed there was: in the room of the intensive care unit we were greeted by the smiling child. Vladik doesn’t groan any more, one thousand and one tubes doesn’t stick out of him. He even almost sits in the bed and plays with a little car.

“Here they look after me well, I also feel good,” said Vladik. “Yesterday I was helped to walk and eat — I am helped with everything. Many people come to visit me, everybody asks what happened to me, if I feel sick, if I was swept off my feet by the explosion… I remember that somewhere a woman shouted — I heard a voice. I don’t remember anything else. Then one man put me under a blindage. And then a military man took me away in a military vehicle. So I was brought at first to one hospital, then to a second one. Then I was brought here, but at first I was lying on another bed,” recounts Vlad.

According to the head of the department on rendering emergency surgical care of the Republic’s children’s clinical hospital Valery Kovalev, the boy is already on the mend — eight days from the moment of operation have passed. The child is recovering, soon they will remove his stitches. Of course, he is a little bit capricious about food — alas chocolates is forbidden, for a while it is only bouillons, but in principle everything goes well, noted the doctor.

“He doesn’t know about his mother yet,” said Kovalev, reminding that the Ukrainian shell that mutilated Vladik killed his mother.

“When the grandmother came, he asked: where is mother? The grandmother said that the mother is in hospital. All questions on the topic ended,” said the surgeon. “Vladik, by the way, is the seventeenth child who we have operated on with shell-explosive wounds. This year he is already the second such case. But the most terrible is when you operate on a child, you look in his eyes, and life fades away in them, and he dies directly in front of you on the operating table. Probably, there is nothing more terrible than this.”

The head of department is a person with a big heart, fulfilling his work with incredible devotion. He behaves very carefully with little Vladik, however, so do all medical personnel. All adults look at this situation, of course, in a different way, not like the boy — he hasn’t completely understood yet what happened.

“People come to Vladik, but not to the room, of course — here, except you and the grandmother, we didn’t let anybody in yet,” said the head of department. “And so, people come, someone gifts a toy, someone else – a little car … They ask what can be prepared from house food — so far the boy is allowed only bouillons and soup. He is left with only his grandmother and aunt… He eats independently, yesterday he already tried to walk. What does he need? Here a young woman came and brought him two little cars. He plays with one, and the second one is huge! When he saw it — he was in seventh heaven he was delighted, saying: ‘I’ve never had such a car!’ Everything goes normally, thank God, that and further”.

The boy is provided for with all medicines — the Republic’s children’s clinical hospital is given everything necessary. Vladik now dreams only of seeing his relatives: soon his aunt, brother, and younger sister will arrive. And, of course, to test the gifted remote-control car — he can play with it when he is transferred to another room in the profile surgical office.

“I will play there with children, and then they will release me, and I will go home,” dreams Vladik.

Of course, he still doesn’t know anything about his home – destroyed to the foundations. It is better for the child for now not to know the sad news — negative emotions can badly affect his treatment.

Meanwhile Vladik plays with a little bear by the name of Mishutka, he dreams about ae big model plane, and in the future to work in the hospital.

“Here it is interesting, they do little injections … I am not afraid of needles — well, a little bit. But when they take blood from the finger, I am afraid — it is painful,” admits Vladik touchingly.

Incredibly, of course: having received awful injuries and damages, having endured an operation that lasted 12 hours, the little guy is afraid only of a blood scarifier. Vladik is a very courageous for his age.

Currently, taking into account the positive changes in the patient, his transfer from the department of intensive surgery to the profile surgical office is planned.

“Treatment will be continued, and we hope that everything will be good. The period of treatment will take a lot of time, considering the volume of injuries received by the child,” said the intern of the second surgical department, the children’s surgeon Maksim Vakulenko. “It is necessary also that later psychologists work with Vladik, considering that he lost all his relatives. A child is a child: he, of course, doesn’t yet realize what happened, and doesn’t know the details. So the period of his psychological rehabilitation will also take certain time. But I think that we will cope with this task.”

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