I think these years were worse than the war, I was small then. A true war began in 1992.
Why? The plant was closed down; we were about 52 and 53 years old. They pensioned us off. They gave us 29 rubles. My husband died, my mother was aged. To my mind, I had already had a granddaughter in summer. I didn’t have money, my mother just received coupons like a bereaved family. We used to go to a shop that was located near the shop «Cherevichki» at the corner of the street. And like a bereaved family we got some sausage, all foodstuffs. I used to go and take them. I was so tired! I didn’t know what to do. Nobody could hire me, there wasn’t a retired pay, no money. My mother’s pension… I was so tired of that life! And later on, I had a friend who had left for America, he used to give me some clothes and I sold them, I was going here and there. Oh, I have been everywhere. I thought that I would go mad at that time. It was Gorbachev’s time. I don’t know but they must have been judged for all, that he … And then they paid us wages, I don’t remember now … when they paid us wages they told us that if we didn’t exchange the money we would lose it. And we ran to exchange the money. I do remember this. And when my husband died I took this checkbook, in one word, they torn my checkbook. Why did they tear it? I don’t have it anymore. There was some money, they gave it out and I could buy only one chicken on this money. It was deception. So you need to describe it very well, but nobody will tell about it. For that… ok, they shouldn’t give them anything, shouldn’t give anything. That’s all, there is nothing. Where did you leave everything? All that together? Everything had gone... Because they conducted such policy and led us to nowhere, all those who had the power, who did that, must be punished and judged. When I see him on TV I would like to kill him. Why? Why? Do you see what you have done to your people? and now you speak in public and tell us something. You have had all of us floored. All of us. All our plant, all the people left, that’s the end, there’s no people any more. Our plant fell apart quickly. And what about the heads – they all were found working places. And all of us went to that market. We all were carrying these huge striped bags.
Were they heavy?
These bags were too heavy to lift. I strained myself, became almost handicapped when I carried these bags here from the Skidzelsky market, and then every morning I took them back there. I set out the goods, sold them and again carried them, again. I have been to everywhere! I had some money, I earned it in Moscow at the market, I earned it there. What did my life look like?! What could I see at that time? What could I do? I was in Moscow, but what could I see? I couldn’t go to the theatre or cinema like a normal person. What a policy! If I reached them I would kill them all. We saw nothing in our life, nothing. What was the year of 92, what were our days at that time, I am even afraid to say, before Yasha, I was alone, you understand, I was alone, I came from the market and couldn’t stand up any more because of these bags and I thought, «I wish Hitler came here and threw a bomb here and I passed away»
Researcher: Наталья Иващенко, кандидат исторических наук, ГрГУ им. Я. Купалы, Светлана Силова, кандидат исторических наук, доцент, ГрГУ им. Я. Купалы