Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tragedy in Moscow


This past Saturday an extremely drunken driver sped up onto a sidewalk, killing five teens and two adults who were waiting at a bus stop. Those teens, (Dima, Vova, Jessica, Nastya and Vika) had just been at an awards ceremony at Victory Park, where they had received prizes for their crafts. The teens, all orphans, and their teacher and her husband (Olya and Seriozha), were very much loved and supported by everyone at Maria's Children, the art studio and charity here in Moscow that helps orphans and children in need through art therapy and various other forms of assistance.

These children had literally grown up with Maria's Children, blossoming as people and artists through their weekly visits. They were precious to those who knew them. Dima loved to draw scenes from the metro, and was able to find beauty even in that which seemed devoid of it. Vika loved to give everyone beautiful and complicated braids in their hair. Nastya was very worried about what would become of her once she aged out of the orphanage.  Olya had devoted her life to helping orphaned children, putting her two advanced degrees (art and special education) to use. Her husband was a rare father figure to these kids, doing all he could to support his wife and them. They loved these children and the void at Orphanage #7 is now vast and aching.

The funeral for all them is this morning and it is a very sad day in Moscow.

People in Russia are quite outraged that this drunken driver, who readily admitted to having been drinking for two days straight, was even allowed to be driving at all after a previous DUI arrest. He now faces a maximum penalty of nine years in prison for having murdered these seven wonderful people... This makes no sense to me at all... The women who protested against Putin by disrespectfully performing a vulgar rock song in the country's main cathedral were sentenced to three years in a penal colony, and this guy only faces six more years than they do? How can this possibly be?

Those of you who know and love all that Maria's Children does, please show your support. You can find them on facebook at Maria's Children ArtCenter Moscow or at their website, www.mariaschildren.ru.

6 comments:

Atelier BE said...

How very terrible Tamara. Such an awful and heartbreaking tragedy. I know how very near to your heart these children were and will keep them, and you, in my prayers.

Warmly, Jess

Rachael said...

Such a horrible tragedy! This made national news too. I had heard, but didn't know about the connection to Maria's Children.

Tina in CT said...

What a sad loss of life. The drunken driver should get a life sentence in a Siberian jail.

MoscowMom said...

Thanks, everyone... I didn't actually know them, Jess, but my heart really goes out to everyone who really did love them... Their teacher and her husband were real gems, and it's such a loss for all the other children in their orphanage... Orphans in Russia already have a hard lot in life; they don't need any more pain from such an utterly senseless loss...

Anonymous said...

the drinking habits of russian men are horrible. these accidents arent rare at all. i know two girls who were killed by a drunken driver, most of my male acquintances have driven while being drunk and the society tolerates it. our men degrade and stoop lower and lower. yes those things could have happened anywhere and other countries have different problems, such as high criminality in us, but this alcohol thing in russia is not even seen as smth terrible it is viewed as smth absolutely normal. i love my country and am proud of being russian but the men of my country are what makes me ashamed of it. one man out of 5 is an alcoholic. btw female drivers are much more disciplined while men often say that a woman in a car is like a monkey with a grenade. i wonder what they say now

Annie said...

Finally catching up on your blog, and this just makes my heart ache. So sad.... Of course it would have been sad, had it been ANY seven people, but I have a soft heart for Maria's Children through you and Alla.

Anonymous expresses what I have observed in my time in Russia...two of my children said they'd seen dead people on the street killed by speeding cars, and they didn't even get out that much!