10 stories that touched the hearts of RT's readers in the last decade
When parents at a Moscow school demanded that a photo of Masha, a child with Down’s Syndrome, be deleted from the yearbook, supermodel Natalia Vodianova stepped in. The famous beauty posted a photo of herself and her autistic sister online, and called for others to post photos of loved ones with special needs under the hashtag #НашаМаша (#OurMasha).
Маше, её маме Марине Валерьевне, Миле, Нике и всем мамам и их дочкам с особенностями развития посвящается #модасосмыслом #zarinafashionshow #немолчи @nakedheartfoundation #обнаженныесердца >>>> dedicated to Masha and Marina, Nika and Mila and all mothers raising daughters with special needs #fashionwithpurpose #zarinafashionshow #dontbesilent
Evicted from their home, Tierra Gray and her two sons had fallen on hard times. When Deputy Brian Bussell was told that no shelters were available for the family, he took matters into his own hands. The officer took the family shopping for clothes, toiletries and food, and even paid for a 10-day hotel stay with his own cash. Both the family and the county sheriff praised Bussell's acts of kindness, along with many on social media.
A video of an elderly man singing 'You'll Never Know' to his dying wife went viral, with viewers stating that the footage made them believe in love. The song had special meaning for the husband and wife, who had been married for 73 years, because she had used it as comfort while he was fighting in World War II. During the serenade, 93-year-old Laura turned to her family and said “Isn't he sweet?”
Instead of opting for a posh resort or an exotic location, two British lovebirds decided to spend their honeymoon in Calais, providing food for migrants and refugees in need. The two organizers spoke to RT about their mission and why they chose to celebrate their marriage in such a unique way.
Seventy years after the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, RT's documentary team spoke to survivors still haunted by the event. Some shared their most painful memories, while others showed the physical scars they've been forced to live with since the bombs were dropped.
Vladimir Tonkonog, a Russian farmer with cerebral palsy, doesn't let his disability get in the way of working hard for his family. The farmer gained popularity online after issuing a plea for a loan – not a handout – to achieve his dream of buying a greenhouse. Not only was that dream achieved, but RT reported in June that Tonkonog's farm was expanding due to his own craftsmanship. The 30-year-old managed to build a bench, a garden-bed and a water-pump.
An RT documentary crew traveled deep into the Russian taiga to meet Agafia, whose family fled civilization nearly a century ago. The 70-year-old has never left the forest, and says the outside world is “frightening.” She provided RT's film crew with a letter asking for a helper because her age is advancing. However, no one seemed willing to be cut off from the outside world. Agafia is part of the 'Old Believer' denomination which rejected the mid-17th century reforms to the Russian Orthodox Church.
The violence in Eastern Ukraine has had serious consequences for those forced to escape and uproot their families. RT spoke with people staying at a temporary holding center on the Ukraine-Russian border, with one woman stating that she and her family had been left with nothing, adding that people were “hiding in basements” amid the bombings and gunfire. An RT charity program also helped Russian orphanages to make sure the children of Ukraine's Donbass region were equipped for the first day of school. RT staff have enjoyed giving something back and sharing their experiences.
In an interview with RT, two Saudi princesses opened up about being deprived of food and kept in isolation by their father, King Abdullah. The two claimed that they, along with their two sisters, had been deprived of food for more than 60 days and had very little access to water. The princesses fell out of favor after speaking out against the ill treatment of women in the country.
A video of a homeless man with a remarkable radio voice has received almost 35 million views since it was posted on RT's YouTube channel in 2011. The 'golden voice' belonged to Ted Williams, a former US Army soldier and radio announcer. Williams, now 58, became homeless after becoming involved with drugs and alcohol. However, after his story became public, he was offered voiceover gigs for Kraft foods and the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as a reported $375,000 to write an autobiography. Unfortunately, Williams said earlier in 2015 that he was “financially a little under the weather,” adding that he shouldn't have signed “a lot of things” in 2011, and that he “trusted too much in man.”