“You see smoke rising to the left, that’s Kabun, it was hit several times today. The army is constantly locating and destroying the firing positions of terrorists who are disturbing Damascus,” Nasir, a retired army officer told Alaeddin.
Nowadays, it has become much quieter in the Syrian capital. After killing of Zahran Alloush, leader of the radical group Ahrar ash-Sham on December 25, 2015, the terrorists sharply reduced the intensity of shelling in residential areas.
“We came to Syria, to Damascus when there was peace and tranquility here. We liked the people who are kind and hospitable. Our family was very comfortable here but when the war started we were all scared, everything changed in this country,” Eva told the correspondent while setting up the table with various dishes of Russian and Syrian cuisine.
She met her husband 30 years ago in Leningrad, when Nasir arrived there as a cadet. When the war started, Eva like hundreds of her compatriots scattered throughout Syria, decided to stay with her husband until the end.
In one of the capital's hospitals throughout the six years of war, a female doctor named Elena continues to work after having mastered the military aid. Today, the doctor could not attend Eva’s lunch because of another surgery.
The Russian diaspora in Syria has always lived in harmony and that tradition has not been violated even during the terrible war days. In the cozy cafes of the old town the women get together almost every week. They discuss different topics ranging from gossip to politics.
“We need to respect this land. Those who live here can endure any trial and any war. We were ready for the sounds of missiles and mines. We only thought about how to save our children and husbands,” Eva said.
Recalling the terror they felt when the war started she admitted that her first instinct was to pack everything and leave together. But they have their roots in Syria now and hence they did not want to leave. “We made all our decisions together,” Eva noted.
Her husband also found his place during the war by becoming a guide for the Russian military correspondents leading them to the hot spots for reporting. Every time he had to go, Eva would pray for him to return to her safe and sound.
According to Alaeddin, during the lunch, Eva and Nasir remembered another Russian woman named Irina Barakat who throughout all the years of the crisis lived in Aleppo with her family and was seriously injured by an explosion in August 2016.
The missile flew into the room where the whole family was having dinner. Instinctively, Irina jumped to cover her child and as a result she sustained heavy injures by saving her child. Irina lost her leg and a hand.
After she was in a stable condition in the hospital, Irina was taken to Moscow where the Russian doctors fought for her life.
Irina, Eva and many other Russian women who have stood by their husbands during the tough years of war are a true inspiration for many around the world. Their devotion and strength gives the courage and hope to their loved ones that one day things will be okay.
It's not a secret that there are Russians today who even reside in the territories which are under the control of the armed opposition. These women could not abandon their men and hence endured all the hardships together with them.
According to the correspondent, many men around the world dream of having a Russian wife as Russians have a simple mandate by which they live — They do not abandon their own during the war.