WAR DIARY
Savelii Loginov
25 y.o, Energodar/Kyiv
skater, skateboard video cameraman and chef in Match Bistro
Hey! Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey! My name is Savva, my full name is Savelii. I was born 25 years ago in Energodar, Zaporizhzhya region. This is where one of the largest nuclear power plants in Europe is situated. My mother is a fashion designer, my grandfather is a submariner, he served on the submarine K-141 “Kursk”. My father is from Melitopol.
I lived quietly and did the usual things. And then at the age of 10, skateboarding came into my life by accident. I saw the dudes, became interested, and tried to get on the board.

I could even say that I did not choose skateboarding, but skateboarding chose me to help me in life. Energodar is a rather heavy, non-progressive city with a population of 40,000. 
As it turned out, most people in the city were either boxers or drug addicts, and it was necessary to somehow get out of this routine. And so skateboarding, in the literal sense of the word, saved me and became a kind of guide. I started skating and here we go! The days of constant skateboarding and full obsession with it.

In 2014 I graduated from school and went to Zaporizhzhya. I entered the culinary college and studied for 2.5 years. 
Then I returned to Energodar, hung out for a month or two, worked, skated. I realized that I had to try to change something. I earned some money and went to Kyiv, one way. Took a bag and a skate and left. It was a kind of a child's dream - to go to Kyiv. In a couple of months, my mother called me and asked: how it’s going, when will you go home? And I said to her: probably, I won’t come home. And that's how it all grew together, and I stayed in the capital.
Please tell us what are you doing for life, what is your occupation?

I’m a chef at the Match restaurant, which we opened together with my friend Maxym Kolodin from Odesa, known as Papa Pia. It turned out that we had the same thoughts, there was a "match" between us, that is why now it’s the name of the restaurant. Together we came up with the concept and in a month we made our dreams come true - we started cooking in our restaurant on Baseina str. 1/2 in Match Bistro in Kyiv.
Also, big respect to my fellow Semen from Zeit.Zu. We always exchanged warm words with him. He called me and said that he liked what I was doing and he was ready to give as many boards as needed. I took 5 decks from him and hung them at our restaurant. He has a cool collection "Time to live - time to die". I need to say even more: in our restaurant, you can come and buy a skateboard. It will be on the menu. You scan the code on the table, boards are hanging on the wall. Just come and buy yourself a skate. You can eat, talk, see me. Many skaters come to Match to eat, or rather, came before the war.

And when the war started, we spent about a week in bunkers. And then I realized that it was necessary, perhaps, to start the humanitarian aid in our bistro. And somehow it all grew very much, just on a crazy scale. I currently have more than 35 employees. We give out about two thousand servings a day. We give it to the Armed Forces, to old people, we feed people in the subway, deliver it to hospitals, territorial defense forces, etc.
Where and how did the first day of the war befall you?

Me and Max, my partner in the restaurant, were working on dishes at Match on the evening of February 23rd. In the morning I was planning to launch a vegetarian menu. I made tofu cheesecakes, and tofu scrambles, with all sorts of smoked zucchini. We closed at about 9.30 pm, gave the kitchen to the boys and went to my house to have a drink and relax. Max had just arrived in Kyiv from Odesa that day. Usually, he works remotely. He comes for a while, we plan something together - and he returns to Odesa. 
We came home, drank a bit, talked, and exchanged warm words because we had not seen each other for a long time. We discussed some ideas and went to bed, a little drunk.

We woke up at 4.30 am from a friend's text message, who simply wrote: take care of yourself, get out of here. I sleepily said: Max, I’ve got a super weird text message. He's like: dude, don’t bother me, go to bed. I was lying in anxiety for 20 minutes, and then a friend from Odesa called Max and said: Max, pack up, the war has begun. And he disconnected.
Do you still have relatives who stayed in Energodar?

Dude, thank God, no. This is my hometown, but my relatives are no longer there. My mother moved to Chernihiv a couple of years ago. My grandfather stayed there, but he was also recently transferred to Chernihiv, to my mother. He is 80 years old, an old man, but a very cool one. He is still doing pull-ups, and has “golden hands”. He and my grandmother lived together for over 40 years. He's a brilliant dude, I take an example of him as much as possible. They left - and the war began. I was so relieved that they were in Chernihiv. But when the bombing started over there too, they had to leave. Now they are in Vinnytsia, living in a barrack with a crowd of people, cats, dogs. Sometimes without light, then without communication. It’s awful. But the main thing – they are alive. I keep in touch with them as much as I can and help as much as I can.
One month of war has passed. How have your thoughts and mood changed during this period?

I might have grown up. I began to realize the situation, get involved in life, and understood that I have the resources - my head and the ability to cook. I can give it to people without taking anything but warm words in return. And I'm happy while people eat, while people live. I began to work and understood that life goes on. I took my relatives to a safe place and stayed in my beloved Kyiv. I have been here for only 4 years, but I’m very used to this city, to the people, to the atmosphere. You just have to exist, live, continue to create, and give people warmth and goodness. 
Describe your typical day during the war period.

The first week everything was unclear. We hung out with the boys in the apartment, lived in the bunker for 5 days, woke up early, carried water from the apartment to the bunker, and looked for some things, some candles. At the same time, we bought medicine for our neighbors. There is a granny that is living on the same floor. She was left alone in the apartment until we moved her out to a safe place. She is a disabled person with a cat. We ran, bought her medicines by the list, and food. At the same time, we tried to help each other in the company.

When the volunteers started doing something, we helped them carry sand for the Armed Forces, something else. Where we could, we helped. We are adult boys, healthy, riding skateboards, eating right, and doing yoga. There is enough strength, there is enough power - we can help with something.
In a week I made a post on Instagram, where I wrote who I am, what I do, and how I can help. Many people responded immediately. We raised a crazy amount of money, more than half a million hryvnias to help. I realized that I needed to cook. I started to connect with my guys, to post about the fact that people are needed, that something needs to be done. And the routine began.

Every day we started around 10 am. We came to the restaurant, cooked food. Every day we increased the number of portions, accepted the humanitarian aid, and engaged the logistics. There was a strict curfew in Kyiv, it was necessary to plan everything in advance. It was necessary to close all issues in the kitchen by 6 pm and somehow get home carefully. There was no public transport, no taxi. We were looking for a lift, wrote to some volunteer groups "help us get home".
I had a cat who stayed in one apartment and I lived in another, so I came to feed it. Then my girlfriend was given a Spitz. People were fleeing from Hostomel, where a woman’s two-story house was bombed, cars, everything in a row. They didn’t know where to leave the dog. Accidentally that dog caught my eye and we took him home.

I took the Spitz - and routine began: you need to get up in the morning, feed the cat, the dog, then walk with the dog, then eat and go to work in Match. Start logistics, cook, or help with something. Recently by a similar scheme, we were given a French bulldog. Now I have a gang hanging out: a Spitz, a bulldog, and a cat. They hang out together and eat next to each other, I'm really excited about it.
What will you do first after our victory?

I will definitely call my parents and ask how they are. I will try to help them somehow, maybe transport them to Kyiv or help with transportation somewhere else. I will take them somewhere, but probably not to Energodar.

I don't know what will happen to Energodar. Today I called a dude from there and asked him a little about the situation in the city. He said it was very tense and difficult. The russians are holding checkpoints, you can't enter or leave the city. Nova Poshta doesn’t accept anything, humanitarian needs cannot be delivered and so the medicines. 
You can't pay by card in the city, cash is running out, and there is no place to withdraw. They turn off the electricity, then turn it on. There is a complete disaster.

And then, probably, we will resume Match and work in normal mode. We will raise the city, city structure, and economy.

I wish everyone to skate. It stimulates, trains you, teaches. Grows a core in you, which can help in everything else in the future.

Skateboarding for me is no longer just boarding. It is a soul, an inner feeling. I treat it with the utmost awe. I understand how many years I have been devoted to this and I am very glad that it has appeared in my life!

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