The young author from Lugansk, Faina Savenkova, answered some questions about the vulnerability of children in wartime, and explained how she feels when she sees children still dying in the Donbass, because of a conflict they had nothing to do with.
Recent events have shown that although war is an adult affair, children often pay the price as well (mines, shooting, bombing, terrorist acts, weapons in circulation). How do you feel when you see that children are still dying because of the Donbass war despite the Minsk Agreements?
Everything that is happening now is unacceptable. Children should not die because of a conflict between adults. They never should. It is even stranger to see the world shamefully turning its back, for fear of accidentally seeing another child die, instead of preventing further tragedies. I find it hard to understand how such indifference to human life is possible in the 21st century.
In wartime, children are even more vulnerable than adults, and in the Donbass conflict many have died in real war crimes. What would you like to say to those who commit war crimes against children?
I would like to ask those who give and carry out such orders: are they not afraid to go to bed at night in total darkness after doing all this? Are they not afraid to go out back home and show themselves to people? Do their relatives know that they are communicating and living next to a murderer?
Does this vulnerability of children in times of war inspire you in your writing, and more particularly did it inspire you in your latest novel, written jointly with Alexander Kontorovich?
I wouldn’t say it’s an inspiration. It rather frightens me. And this fear is really reflected in the novel “Those who stand behind your shoulder”. The novel is certainly fantastic, but it contains a lot of very concrete, everyday questions to which Alexander Kontorovich and I tried to find answers. Some of these questions concern the vulnerability of children.
As an author and public person, do you receive threats? Are you not afraid to show your face?
No, I have not been threatened openly, but I have been insulted. There are people who don’t like my activities, and I am used to that. Am I afraid? I don’t know. I try not to think about it.
What is your vision of your future?
The main thing in this future is peace. Not the one that is imposed on us, but the one that each of us will achieve by our own means. And the rest, I think, is not so important.
Interview by Christelle Néant