Kyiv, 14 March 2014 – Olesya Zhukovska, 21, a medical volunteer from the Ternopil region who was shot in the neck during the Maidan bloodshed on 20 February 2014, spoke at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center about the events of that day.
Since 4 December, she had been spending all her time working as a volunteer at Maidan. According to Olesya, after students’ protest had been dispersed, she couldn’t stay at home and felt the urge to help: “Love to your country is one feeling that stands above fear”, she commented. Olesya also witnessed the events at the Hrushevskogo Street where she was on duty at the front line, giving first aid to the injured, stopping hemorrhage.
“On 19 February, it was more or less quiet, we were helping those who had been injured before”, says the volunteer, “on the morning of 20 February I collected medications at the St. Michael’s Cathedral and went to the first aid station near the Christmas tree. As I was passing the Lyadski Gate I saw my friends and walked towards them. There was no fighting there at that time. Everything was quiet. That shot was the first in the area. I was wounded in the neck, the bullet passed through piercing an artery. They were shooting with forbidden bullets that explode inside the body. The one I was shot with exited before exploding. There was a guy standing next to me. He was also shot in the neck at the same time as me. Unfortunately, he died instantly.”
Olesya has recently visited France where she met the President of France François Hollande. “We asked him to stop the war in Crimea. We told him that people are still dying. The purpose of our meeting was for France to introduce sanctions and help stop the bloodshed.” Today Olesya is staying at Maidan and assures: “We are staying here until the end, until the bloodshed stops, until we become free.”
Olesya Zhukovska is a 21-year-old medical volunteer for the Ternopil region. On 20 February she survived a sniper shot against all odds. It was later discovered that Olesya was shot with an expanding bullet which is forbidden under the international humanitarian law.