Residents of Murmansk have always extended a helping hand to those who urgently needed it. Not for praise or rewards, but at the behest of the heart. And now, when our northerners are protecting the borders of the Motherland in the zone of HVO, we could not stand aside. For more than a month, the People’s Aid Fund “The residents of Murmansk do not leave their own”, organized on the initiative of the team of the main city newspaper “Evening Murmansk”, has been working in Murmansk. In a relatively short time, with the support of the caring residents of Murmansk, the fund was able to transfer dozens of boxes with the necessary humanitarian goods for our soldiers.
The inhabitants of the city have repeatedly united for good deeds. Together we walked in a column of the Immortal Regiment, planted trees on the Green Record, cleaned the shores of lakes and helped the residents of Donbass in 2015. One of the latest examples is the creation of a national monument to the soldiers of the Polar Division. Thousands of Murmansk residents transferred funds to ensure that this memorial appeared in the capital of the Kola Arctic. Now the monument stands proudly in the center of the avenue of the same name. Residents of Murmansk affectionately call him “our soldiers.” Now, at a difficult moment for the whole country, we have again gathered for a common goal.
– We are worried about our boys, we are trying to help as much as we can. The philosophy of our foundation is to help people, we basically do not want to use an administrative resource, – emphasizes Mikhail Belosheev, chairman of the board of the Fund for People’s Aid “Residents of Murmansk do not abandon their people”, deputy of the Murmansk Regional Duma, deputy head of the public organization “Murmansk – hero city”. – Yes, of course, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation must supply the army. But there is always an opportunity to make the life of the fighters a little easier, more convenient. Therefore, we turned to the residents of Murmansk and are trying to help our compatriots, who are now on the front line under shells. We give them a piece of ourselves, of our warmth. Our fund operates and maintains a relationship with a specific military unit on high alert.
The fund’s board of trustees includes such well-known and respected people as an honorary citizen of the city of Murmansk, chairman of the Murmansk city executive committee in 1984-1989 Vladimir Goryachkin, deputy chairman of the Murmansk regional all-Russian public organization “Russian Union of Veterans of Afghanistan” Andrey Lebedev, chairman of the city public organization of veterans of the war and military service Yevgeny Levchenko, chairman of the Murmansk regional organization “Children of Military Murman” Yury Likatov, deputy chairman of the Council of Murmansk City Deputies Tamara Priamikova.
– We work directly with the commander of the military unit. We don’t buy abstract things, but fulfill concrete wishes of the military,” continues Mikhail Belosheev. – For example, shovels, gas bottles, polyethylene film for insulation of dugouts, stoves and many others. What we ordinary citizens consider necessary and useful may not be useful in practice on the front lines. Therefore, we buy exactly what the fighters themselves and their commanders want.
Every penny from the heart
Voluntary donations are made by individual northerners, public organizations and private entrepreneurs and, of course, deputies from the City Council of Deputies. For example, Andrei Sisoev, deputy chairman of the Murmansk City Council, after learning about the Vecherka initiative and the creation of the fund, was the first to transfer his monthly salary there. Other deputies did not stand aside either.
A significant part of the funds to support the fighters comes from our compatriots of advanced age. Members of the Murmansk Regional Organization “Children of Military Murmansk”, the Murmansk City Council of War, Labor, Armed Forces, Law Enforcement Veterans, Councils of War and Labor Veterans of Pervomaisky, Oktyabrsky Districts, who know firsthand what military hardships and deprivations. Many older residents of Murmansk even come to the bank with Vecherka’s number in their hands and ask employees to help make a money transfer to the account of the People’s Assistance Fund. And even if these are small transfers – 100, 200 or 500 rubles, but every penny is from the heart.
In just a month and a half of work, the fund received almost 700 thousand rubles from the residents of Murmansk. Gloves, warm sports hats, socks, thermal underwear, polyethylene foam mats, gas burners and LPG bottles for them, electric shoe dryers, rescue blankets, more than 1800 meters of special dense film for insulating dugouts, chainsaws, several dozen shovels, wet wipes, slippers for the wounded when sent to hospitals. We will soon send ten more stoves to the fighters.
Let’s add that together with the boxes sent on November 1, a humanitarian cargo collected by the Murmansk Regional Public Charitable Organization of Large Families and People with Disabilities “Rainbow” also went to the front line. They handed our compatriots boxes of medicines, personal care products, condensed milk, pâtés and instant products.
Only now there was a problem with the diesel generators. Now they are in great deficit. If someone from Murmansk has, albeit used, but working generators, we are ready to buy them for our guys stationed in Donbass. You can call the reception of “Evening Murmansk” on phone 25-46-77.
Letters of support
– Alexey Lebedko, the director of the construction company, turned to me. He asked what help the boys needed. At this point, our warriors asked for chainsaws. Alexey immediately bought two chainsaws and four chains for them, and the next day we sent them with another load to the front line, – says Mikhail Belosheev about the disinterested act of a resident of Murmansk.
With particular trepidation, the soldiers were given a parcel of children’s letters and drawings. Poignant messages, folded front triangles, were prepared by students of the Murmansk Cadet School. Incidentally, this was also on the list of essentials that the commanders reported. Fifth grader Sofia wrote such tender lines to the soldiers that when they read them, their hearts involuntarily sank.
“Hello, dear soldier! I want to say kind words to you. It is very difficult to fight, you have to learn a lot of new things. I hope you don’t starve there and feel worthy because that’s what matters. I believe in you! I wish you excellent health. Know, dear soldier, that here you are eagerly awaited, cherished, and respected with all their hearts.
– I accidentally opened Sofia’s letter, my eyes fell on it. It penetrated to the depths of the soul, – says Mikhail Belosheev. – This is a sincere child’s look, good wishes, support for the fighting spirit of our soldiers. Sofia put childlike sincerity and a mature message into the letter.
It is very easy to make a contribution to the People’s Aid Fund “Residents of Murmansk do not abandon their own” and express support for our compatriots. Point your phone’s camera at the QR code. The required bank details will be filled in automatically.
– I am sure that one day after the end of a special military operation, we – warriors and caring residents of Murmansk – will gather in some spacious hall. Let’s get to know each other personally, exchange opinions, smile at each other and definitely make friends, – expressed hope Mikhail Belosheev. “Such initiatives of the people actually show the true character of Murmansk people, our good heart. As long as we are united we are invincible!
Photo from the editorial archive