The Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office and the international foundation “Spravedlyvaya pomoshch” continue to assist children affected by the military aggression

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The story of six-year-old Diana, who was cured by “Spravedlyvaya pomoshch” and Doctor Liza before (her tragic death) she passed away


Donbass people were deeply saddened to know that Yelizaveta Glinka passed away. Everyone felt this pain and terrible misfortune.

For thousands of unfortunate people, she was a guardian angel.

And she ascended to Heaven…

Since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, resuscitator and palliative care specialist Elizaveta Glinka regularly visited Donbass with humanitarian missions – for the transfer of medicines and food to hospitals, evacuation of sick and injured children. She helped many children and their parents, who received treatment in the best hospitals of Russia. During the conflict in Donbass, she sent nearly 500 children with serious illnesses from the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic to Russia for treatment.

Dr. Liza was the heart of the large mechanism, designed to save children’s lives. Tens of organizations, thousands of people were involved. Due to her ambition, strong-willed nature and philanthropy, she managed to organize this well-functioning structure. This small, smiling woman with an uncrushable spirit was the “driving motor” of this complex mechanism and its soul. Workers of this fund calculated that 50 people from different spheres were involved per each child, who was transferred to the Russian Federation.

6-year-old Diana Popkova from Khartsyzsk became one of the last injured children to whom Dr. Lisa helped personally. In December 2016, with the help of the “Spravedlyvaya pomoshch” foundation, the girl, together with her grandmother, underwent a rehabilitation course in the children’s psychoneurological sanatorium “Kaluga-bor”, which provides sanatorium help to children with nervous disorders of different etiologies with locomotor, sensory disorders, including those combined with diseases of the musculoskeletal system

The story of Diana spread to newspapers and television in severe 2014. The story of her saving was eternalized in the monument in Dnepropetrovsk, depicting the girl and a Ukrainian soldier, who saved her. After all, even during an undeclared and unjust war, we all remain human beings…



Children from all corners of Russia are treated in the Kaluga sanatorium. Diana made many friends – the kids talked and played together. One day, a boy, who also came to for the treatment with his grandmother, showed Diana some photographs on his mobile phone: “Look, this is my mother, she is coming to take me home soon.” The girl ran away with sobbing: “When will my mother come to me? I miss her so much … ”

For Luba, grandmother of the girl, it took so much time to calm her. She was hugging her granddaughter and saying kind words. “I love you so much …” – whispered the girl.

Diana doesn’t have a mother. She doesn’t have a father, her elder sister and her other grandmother. She lost all of them on their drive to the safe zone. Diana was the only one, who survived. It happened on August 29, 2014. “Circumstances of the tragedy were restored bit by bit. Only now, two years later, Diana tells some things, confirming the words of eyewitnesses,” – says Diana’s grandmother Lyubov Popkova.

… When the shelling of Khartsyzsk began, Vladimir’s eldest son took the family to his relatives in the village of Amvrosievsky district. Even there it wasn’t safe. On that ill-fated day the family was driving in the direction of Starobeshevsky district. Several times they’ve changed the route because of the numerous checkpoints. They managed to drive ten kilometers from the village, as the cannonade rattled. On the field road a soldier stopped the car and asked some water. Diana’s father came out, opened the trunk. Suddenly, projectile from the Ukrainian troops hit the car…

“My co-mother-in-law and elder granddaughter, 14-year-old Dasha, died at once – says Lubov with eyes full of tears. And my daughter-in-law, Tanya, covered the small girl with her body, so she survived, even though she didn’t stay unharmed – her shoulder was wounded with a splinter … Later, Diana said:” Mom lived the longest … “.

The soldier also stayed alive, – as it turned out, it was a serviceman of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Ivan Pogorely from Zaporozhye.

It is impossible to imagine what the girl has endured, being injured to the shoulder and bleeding in the terrible heat for long hours. A heavily wounded soldier stayed with Dasha for the rest of the day and all night, doing his best to becalm her. Due to the loss of blood, the girl was very thirsty, but there was no water. In the darkness, Vanya tried to find some drink in the car, he found some jar, creshed it, but it turned out to be stew. In the dawn, the man took the documents and money from the car and decided to make his way to the people. Summoning strength, half-lost his consciousness, Ivan crawled towards the village. He decided to surrender to save the child.

It wasn’t at once, when the villagers, passing along the road, noticed the barely alive soldier and a child on the roadside. One of them finally stopped and called for help immediately. The armored personnel carrier vehicle took the wounded. Diana was sent to the Starobeshevo hospital, then – to the Donetsk regional Accident Hospital. She was registered as an unknown – the weakened baby was silent in a state of shock. There was only her sister’s birth certificate among the documents, handed by Ivan. As two friends, Andrey and Sasha, learned about the girl, they posted information in social networks. A few days later, Lyuba learned about the tragedy and came to Diana.

“I also met Vanya, our rescuer, – says Lubov. – He gave me other documents and all money he found in the car, every dime, despite it wasn’t much. He said, Diana was his savior, as he had two sons himself. “I saved Diana, Diana saved me.” – that is what he said. After he underwent some treatment, he returned to his hometown. He called us for several times, inquiring after her health…”.



“So many people helped us. We are surrounded by really good, kind people. We are deeply grateful to them,” – Lyubov says. – Initially, the military took care of us, they brought food, gave transfer to get all medical examination for Diana. We took her From Donetsk on September 15 – we healed the wound, but ligaments and soft tissues were badly damaged, the innervation was disordered. Her arm hardly hurt, but we noticed that the girl never raises it, so doctors assigned rehabilitation gymnastics, massage, physiotherapy procedures. ”

The little girl received treatment in Khartsyzsk and Donetsk. In winter 2015, Diana was examined at the Military Hospital of Rostov, where doctors monitored restoration of functioning of the hand. They did not preclude the possibility of operation. It was strongly advised to undergo sanatorium treatment every six months.

In March 2015, upon the initiative of Oleg Tsarev Foundation, Diana and her grandmother visited the sanatorium “Poltava Crym” in Saki. It seemed that rehabilitation process was going well. But it was almost impossible to get to the sanatorium again. Grandmother is quite modest, so she could not “beat out” the trip, charitable organizations were engaged in other, more urgent matters …

In summer 2016, a film crew of “Rossiya” television channel came to the Popkovy family – a well-known journalist Alexander Rogatkin made a film about the tragic fate of the family. Journalists promised to find a place for Diana in the sanatorium with the help of the All-Russian Emergency Medicine Centre. It seemed that everything was arranged, but still Diana didn’t get the treatment. At some point, something “went wrong”, or someone was sent instead of Diana …

The girl received treatment, so necessary for her, only in December, when the staffs of the  international foundation “Spravedlyvaya pomoshch” learned about her. Dr. Lisa was concerned about the health of the girl who was wounded. Specialists of the Foundation in Moscow and Donetsk, the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic of Darya Morozova, Mikhail Fedotov – the Head of the Human Rights Council under auspices of the President of the Russian Federation, Svetlana Netreba (by the way, she comes from Hartsysk herself) – the member of the working group of the Civic Dialogue in the Normandy Format and the “Women’s Initiatives for Peace in Donbass” movement made further treatment possible for Diana Popkova.


“In Moscow, the representatives of “Spravedlyvaya pomoshch” foundation met us,” – Lyubov Popkova said. – Then, the representatives of the Investigative Committee of Kaluga, who cooperate with the fund, took us to the sanatorium. There is a very beautiful nature, pine forest around, purest air. We were received very warmly and sincerely, placed in a comfortable room. We both received the treatment. A variety of physiotherapy procedures, exercise therapy, massage, swimming pool, psychological help, and communication with children, classes helped Diana very much. Her hand has got much better, the limited movement is almost unnoticeable. The girl became calmer, more confident. And most importantly, the doctors concluded that the rehabilitation was successful and the granddaughter doesn’t need to have surgery.

This is a family-type sanatorium and the atmosphere here is almost family-like. Everyone greets each other, children play together. The staffs are very attentive in the “Kaluga-bor” sanatorium, everyone proposed help to us. And when they found out that we were from Donbass, they began to bring gifts, clothes and sweets to Diana. At discharge, the head physician presented matryoshka doll to the granddaughter  – for a good memory, and the nannies gave us a hearty snake on the road.

Many thanks to all the people who cared about us: the organizers of the trip – the Ombudsman’s Office of Darya Morozova, Moscow human rights activists, the sponsor from Khartsysk, who bought tickets to Moscow and back for us and, of course, to the staff of the Dr. Lisa’s Foundation. I kept thinking: what a pity that I could not communicate with her personally, so many times we have seen her on TV. She’s an amazing woman.

We learned about the plane crash on the day of the tragedy, on December 25. We were on the way home from Moscow. We have just got on the bus, as the news about a fallen plane was announced. I could not believe that Yelizaveta passed away. How this could happen? Recently, she appeared as a light beam in the life of my granddaughter and suddenly it disappeared … With a heavy heart we left Moscow … ”


* * *

“We are never sure whether we return alive or not, because war is hell on earth. And I know what I’m talking about”, – said Yelizaveta Glinka in the Kremlin, at the state award ceremony for her outstanding contribution in the field of human rights activities. This was in early December, shortly before her death.

“I hate death, it disgusts me. We must fight for every moment of life, for what is given to us on earth”, – said Dr. Lisa.

May the blessed memory of the Woman who saved hundreds of lives live forever in our hearts.

To the memory of Yelizaveta Glinka


Source: The Council of the President of the Russian Federation on Civil Society Development and Human Rights