The child had to risk his life so that his family could survive.
He is called a hero, but he is embarrassed when people talk about his deeds. 14-year-old Sasha Gutsal from Bucha walked around the city every day in search of food and water during the shelling of civilians by Russian soldiers. The family was always in the basement. His father fortified their hideout and tried his best to protect the family by building a makeshift fortress while his mother looked after the smaller children. Thus, the eldest boy took responsibility for provisions, and water and saved his relatives from starvation.
Alexander hugs his 14-year-old son tightly. He calls Sasha a savior, thanks to whom he did not die of starvation in the basement. The man shows the basement: «I set up roadblocks, from wheelbarrows, from metal, from bars, so that this garbage could not come to us.»
The Gutsals and more than 30 other residents of Bucha moved here on the first day of the Russian military aggression. The air temperature here sometimes dropped to 8 degrees Celsius. They huddled on damp mattresses, hugging each other to keep warm.
But the worst began when they ran out of food. While his father strengthened his position, the boy went out in search of food in the shops that the Russians had plundered. “Bread was found and cookies made from bread and cheese,” said our hero.
He made his way through the ambushes of the occupying forces, often under fire. Sasha was scared, but he understood that he had to go. His two younger brothers and sister were always asking for food. “I was scared, I didn’t know what was in their heads. They come with weapons. They think that they are the strongest,” Sasha shared.
Then it became dark in the basement and there was no water. Communications were bombed by the Russians. Sasha found a well and went there every day for water. Also next to the shelling.
The guy affectionately called Aunt Ira, who shared water from the well with him. She said that people come from all over because there is no other source of drinking water nearby. The central water supply has not yet been restored. In addition, the boy risked his life under fire to bring the most valuable thing — food for his mother and cook them on fire. Elena was expecting her son with great excitement. “We heard every shot and explosion, I have them smaller, I won’t leave them,” the woman recalls.
The family had nowhere to go from Bucha, and they were afraid that they would be killed. There are three fresh graves near the shelter. Their neighbor is buried in one of them, he was shot by Russian invaders.
It was not easy for the Gutsalyuks either: at the end of February, the orcs got into a high-rise building next to them. As a result, the windows in the basement where people were hiding were broken. They say that no one was hurt, and this is a miracle. Then, one night, Russian troops began to break into the cellar.
“They tried to tear down the door and break it down, but they couldn’t. They left a grenade on it, it exploded and went through the corridor,” people say. The orcs knew that there were children in the basement, but this did not stop them, and the five-year-old Yegor never recovered from the shock.
The Gutsalov’s apartment remained intact, but it has neither electricity nor running water. Therefore, they are in no hurry to move. Volunteers brought food. And Sasha, as usual, goes to Aunt Ira every day for water. He doesn’t consider himself a hero and is very shy. Says he doesn’t need compliments that he helped his family survive. But his dream is to have a big private house. He dreams of the end of the war. And he is also pleased that friends whom he has not seen for more than a month are returning to Bucha.