In Memoriam: Kharkov volunteer died under Russian missiles with one of the families she helped evacuate

Yulia Koval
Yulia Koval

We were not acquainted personally but we mourn her loss. Full version of this material from Kharkiv anarchist media group is published in Russian. See also the previous international press release from this frotline city of East Ukraine.

Submitted by Thunderbird on March 13, 2022

Spouses Oleg and Yulia Koval evacuated the population of Northern Saltovka from the beginning of the war, delivered people for free from this peaceful residential area being daily destroyed by Russian shelling to the train station, provided food and medicines. “Somehow it was not at all comfortable to stay at home, people call on the phone, ask for help, acquaintances. And Yulia says: “Come on, why not, as long as there is fuel". We began to take people to stations, somewhere further, outside the city. A friend asked me to take his family out, he was not in the city, and they were under shelling on North Saltovka. And, of course, I agreed. We arrived at this place, I parked the car, but people had not come down yet", remembers Oleg in conversation with TV channel.

As he told the Assembly journalist, on March 5 they were waiting for a friend's family near the adjoining gym on the Druzhby Narodov (Friendship of Peoples) street, 261. Windows were broken there. Oleg called the owner of the gym, the manager of which he works, and asked for permission to take sweets for his wife there.

"I ran for these chocolates, and then there was an explosion. I was filled up there, but I still stuffed full pockets of these chocolates, and, on the one hand, I run satisfied. You know, it feels like you are Iron Felix. I run up and I see that my car is broken... Of course, I drop everything, jump over, run there... And there lies the family that we were going to pick up... They died... But I can’t find Yulia at all... I ran, I ran, there was no one, no one could help maybe. Found her body in the end."

A few days before the war, on February 20, the couple had their second wedding anniversary. Yulia herself was 23. “Yulia and I went to training together. She was always friendly, very kind, sympathetic. They took people to other villages, cities, towns, where it was quiet and calm. They also helped my family, on March 4 , they took my parents from Saltovka to another city without taking any money, nothing," says their friend Margarita, whom the volunteer and her husband helped the day before.

The best way to honor Yulia is to continue what she did. Oleg tells us:

"Yes, we continue. I am not completely recover yet, but I already understand where there are points with food, where there are medicines, but a car is needed. Now everyone needs help. And medicines, and sometimes people don’t have food, old people afraid to leave the house. If we don't unite, don't be together, don't help each other, then how will we win at all? I don't consider it volunteer activity at all. We just took people out, collected what they had, took it to the hospital, or just to soldiers. We were not members of any organizations. Eighteen for our car, for our money, at the cost of our lives!!!"

No more faith in the "friendship of peoples", even after the verdict of the Hague Tribunal. Only solidarity of those who are fighting for survival in this hell and beyond!

For comrades abroad. If you are going to carry out any action in loving memory of Julia please let us know via our contact form or this email: [email protected]