The Story Of How A Russian Man Saved 30 Children’s Lives

Listen to one story. There’s one small hospital in Russian Tula Oblast, in the village called Gremyacheye. There people of different ages live there, mostly elderly. But we call this place a charterhouse, because inherently they stay there forever… and there’s no one to take them from there, or, if to be more exact, they have relatives, but they left old people in a hospital not to take them later…

He saved children who were drowning in an ice-hole and told them to run to the village…
There’s one man there, his name is Yevgeny Tsvetkov. I want you to remember this name.

uncle - the story of how a russian man saved 30 children’s lives

Entering the hospital we feel bad because of a terrible smell… No, that’s not because they don’t clean up there, it’s just impossible to be in a different way in those conditions. Nurses are paid from 4 till 7 thousand roubles ( 80 – 140 euros ) and don’t turn up their noses at old people who piss their pants. Moreover, nurses can talk to them, and hold their hands, and have compassion on them. There’re war veterans, and just simple people, and self-taught artists, singers, poets among the inhabitants of the hospital.
And no one needs them at all. Neither state nor relatives. Our help is a drop in the ocean, no matter how we try to make their lives better – we’ll never replace them family warmth, we’ll never give them care that a son should give to his father or a brother to his sister.

How to answer a blind grandpa’s question: “Where’s my son? He promised to come a year ago…”

There’s always something terrifying about such places. Many people don’t come there saying “I won’t be able to look at it”. The first visits were hard for me, too. When uncle Kolya died, I was crying in my pillow all night long… Because he didn’t have time to look at the world and us, though when we were talking to him, he seemed to see us, that’s how he felt us…
But little by little we became stronger. We realised we need to liven them up, not to cry. That’s our mission…

Yevgeni Tsvetkov.

A usual man from Gremyacheye, like many others, there’s nothing extraordinary about him. He likes to play the guitar and to sing, he asked the girls to bring him a guitar someday… They brought and he was so happy… Once we got to know he participated in the War in Chechnya. Nurses told us he was constantly talking about children – how сhildren rehearse songs and fests, how they run to him and make holiday costumes and whole performances together… He says children live on the third floor of the hospital.
But there have never been a third floor there.

uncle1 - the story of how a russian man saved 30 children’s lives

Today I saw his photo in a news feed of Emercom-community. That’s what was written there:

A sailor from Tula Oblast saved thirty children who had fallen through the ice.
Children were riding in a one-horse sleigh around the village of Gremyacheye (Tula Oblast). Ice cracked, and children fell into the water. Yevgeni Tsvetkov, a sailor from the neighboring village Pushkari, was walking down the dam. He saw what had happened and rushed to their help.
He was taking children from an ice-hole and told them to run to the village. Yevgeni saved about thirty children. After some time the tired sailor lost his consciousness, and local fishermen took him to hospital. The hero regrets just about not saving four children who had been borne by the stream.

Dear uncle Zhenya, we will surely visit you in the hospital of Gremyacheye! We’ll bring you some oranges and thank you for saving 30 children’s lives, 30 families, 30 destinies.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, we realize some things are more important for you, for example, how much money should be thrown into the olympics. But we want you so much to remember who’s really worth caring about.

uncle2 - the story of how a russian man saved 30 children’s lives