In Eastern Ukraine, Frontline Cobbler Fixes Soldier Boots For Free

Kramatorsk, Ukraine, July 6 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – seventh Jul, 2022 ) :Sitting at his previous stitching machine, Ukrainian cobbler Sergiy Kurchigin waits for patrons in one in every of just some companies nonetheless open this near the frontline.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, many retailers shut down as 1000’s of residents fled the jap metropolis of Kramatorsk, together with his spouse and daughter who now stay in Germany.

But even because the sound of shelling grows nearer and Russian forces creep deeper into the Donbas area, the shoemaker in his sixties says he won’t go away.

Kurchigin says he can’t think about life with out his commerce, which he learnt again within the Seventies from Armenians in his house metropolis.

“No work, no play, no satisfaction,” says the repairman who refuses to offer his actual age, as he operates his Nineteenth-century foot-powered stitching machine.

“A man has to earn money to support his family,” he provides.

By staying behind to work in his neon-lit workshop, he may also do his bit to assist the battle effort.

“When soldiers or volunteers drop by to get their shoes repaired, I don’t charge them anything,” he says, as a couple of members of the defence forces chat on the other pavement.

– ‘Until I die’ – A battle between two international locations as culturally shut as Ukraine and Russia is “absurd”, says the cobbler, standing in entrance of his “shoe repair” register blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

Kurchigin opened his first shoe-making enterprise again in 1976, when Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union.

It was so profitable that he determined to open a second store in the identical metropolis.

But due to the battle, “there’s no one left there now,” he says of the second enterprise.

Business is under no circumstances nearly as good because it was in his first workshop both.

But “as everyone knows me here, I always have one or two people a day”, he says.

Even with out new orders, there’s all the time one thing to do, he says, choosing up an previous pair of trainers from a shelf. For the time being, he solely repairs footwear as battle has made new leather-based unaffordable.

Between clients, he works out.

He picks up a small weight from the ground and lifts it a couple of instances, then grabs his wooden-handled chest expander for some extra workouts.

When requested when he plans to retires, Kurchigin says he has no thought.

“I’ll continue to work until I die because without work it’s very hard to live,” he says.

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