Children in a frontline Donetsk town started a library — and need books


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Children living in the frontline town of Kurakhove, in the Donetsk Oblast are opening a library and are accepting donations for new books. 


This is according to Vitaliy Zapeka, a writer and ZSU soldier, who posted about the library and started a donation drive on his  Facebook page. 


“The war is close in Kurakhove. The artillery strikes here every day. There are no schools or libraries in Kurakhove anymore. They are destroyed. But there are children in Kurakhove. Children who do not remember their lives without war. It has been here since 2014,” Zapeka wrote. “Elizaveta, the oldest girl in the photo, is 14 years old but she is older than her age. The owner of a private grocery store leaves her and the other kids in charge of her business and knows they will be fine. Children are selling goods and are running the shop. That’s a kind of entertainment for them. In this neighborhood this shop is the center of their lives. The children in Kurakhove are changing their lives today. When the parcel arrives, they will become directors of the library — the first library in the world run by children only. Not adults at all! Only them!” 


The library will be located in the Pivdennyi district of Kurakhove in the “By Tanya’s” store. The oldest manager is a 14-year-old Elizaveta Gnoevaya. Anyone can send books to add to the library’s collection. Vitaliy Zapeka notes he is ready to pay the post service fee if the sender is unable to do so. The local administration promised to help with transportation of the parcels.


The library collects primarily books for children and teenagers in Ukrainian but does not accept books in Russian.


Vitaliy Zapeka said that the library has already received its first parcel with books. 


In addition, Zlato Misto bookstore in Poltava collects books for the library in Kurakhove. People can bring their own books or buy books in the store, noting that they are for Kurakhove. Any books that the library already has  will be transferred to another frontline library.


RELATED: Since the invasion, russia destroyed 607 Ukrainian libraries


Kurakhove is a relatively small town in Donetsk region located close to the frontline near Marianka, and is under constant Russian shelling. Back in 2014 a referendum was conducted there, but the town of Kurakhove didn’t become a part of the so called Donetsk People’s Republic.


Vitaliy Zapeka is a Ukrainian writer, volunteer of ZSU, author of books for children and adults, for example “Tsutzyk” (Puppy), “Polinka” and other.  Author of military prose, laureate of several literary prizes.


Photo: Vitaliy Zapeka Facebook Page