Natalia Lelyukh: “I Am Where I Am Most Needed.” Interview for Vogue With the Support of the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation
Before the full-scale war, Natalia Lelyukh was a well-known gynaecologist. She was the leader of the Women’s Club, and promoted the science about women’s health. Now she helps people in the de-occupied territories. She collects, sorts and delivers medicines, advises, and restores faith for those who are on the verge of despair.
Vogue and the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation’s Museum of Civilian Voices have launched a series of interviews in which civilians share their war stories for the world to hear them. In the framework of the project, Vogue UA published an interview with Natalia.
It all started with a box of humanitarian aid. In the first days of the large-scale war, the doctor was looking for her way – she talked to volunteers and started to help. In June, she resumed seeing patients: she travelled to de-occupied villages, worked in destroyed hospitals, and in places where people had lost hope of being heard.
“I am needed there. Obviously, I will not cure a stroke at once, I will not save everyone, but I instil in people a belief that help will come, that they have not been forgotten, that a doctor will come who will listen to them and will even hold their hand, leave medicine, and give them some useful advice.”
Natalia considers Maidan to be the root cause of everything. She says, “My path to who I am today began then.” She was not on Maidan (the Independence Square) on the day of the shooting: she was on duty at the hospital. She admits that only for now, she has been able to work off that guilt, at least a little.
“First of all, I am a doctor. I am Dr. Natasha. This is who I am. And right now, I am doing what I must do. What I am really here for. Where I am most needed. Where my experience is most useful,” she says.
Read the interview with Natalia Lelyukh on Vogue UA: bit.ly/41clxYO
Every story about the war matters. To preserve the memory for the sake of a better and peaceful future, share your story on the portal of the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation: https://civilvoicesmuseum.org/ or via the toll-free hotline (800) 509 001.