‘A soldier must be a coward and, when necessary, a hero’
Oleksandr, the code name “Typhoon”, has been fighting since the age of 24. Having survived captivity after Ilovaisk, he will not be captured again.
Mariupol. ‘A sniper killed my husband’
We spoke with Olha Leus from Mariupol at the YaMariupol center in Lviv, where the Kharkiv human rights group came to help Mariupol residents who live in Lviv after leaving their hometown.
There is brotherhood in ‘Azov’
Ruslan, a fighter from the “Azov” brigade, speaks about his way to “Azov”, a book that changed his worldview, an actual image of Ukraine, and a feeling of support and victory.
A small loaf of gray bread, a quarter for each family
Iryna Kravchenko is a resident of Rubizhne. In 2014, the invaders retreated, leaving behind devastation and mined forests. In 2022, they returned and practically destroyed the city.
‘The city became a ghost… Everything burned with blue flames’
A resident of Popasna, Ivan Hnatenko, hid in the basement for 38 days. One day a rocket hit his house. He collected snow in buckets with his neighbors, trying to extinguish the fire, but the house burned down. The Russians plundered his son and daughter's property. He says that he will not wish such a fate to the enemy.
‘We collected snow, heated it and cooked food on it’, says a mother of many children from Mariupol
Kateryna Mykula escaped with her three children from Mariupol. She tells how they lived in a basement, cooked on a fire, and most of all they were afraid of the enemy aircraft because in an airbomb crater even a “KAMAZ” (large truck) could hide — so big this crater was. The interview was prepared by Lviv journalist Taras Zozulinskiy.
‘For some reason we were convinced that our house would not be hit by a rocket’
Squirrels, four cats, a dog, guinea pigs — with all this wealth, future veterina-rian Oksana Lopatiuk escaped from a burning house.
‘Three shells exploded in my yard,’ — a Bohdanvka resident’s story
Marіia Petrivna has long retired; she has two daughters, a son, and six great-grandchildren. She ended up under Russian occupation with her son, and the Russians set up a headquarters next to her house. Mariia urged the Russian military to remember God and not disturb the villagers.
‘My brother was blown up by a tripwire mine. We don't know anything about his fate’
Meshcheriakova Tetiana was evacuated from the village of Seredne to Kramatorsk, to her mother. “Once it hit so hard that it blew out the windows, and then it hit again… Then we decided not to tempt fate and evacuate to Lviv,” — says Tetiana.
‘Only the walls are standing, and nothing else is left of the house’
Svitlana Hryhorivna used to live in the village of Yakovlivka, Bakhmut district. The woman says the place was perfect, and its inhabitants prospered. Now the village has been destroyed by the Russian military. The house of a seventy-year-old pensioner and her three sisters homes have been burned.
‘If the house is intact, we will certainly return’
This is the story of Nataliia from Bakhmut. In 2014, she and her husband saw the burning Sloviansk and the “referendum” conducted by Russians who landed from KamAZ trucks. Then, on 24 February 2022, they heard the first explosions while looking for where to withdraw their pension. They left on 7 April from the railway station in Kramatorsk, the day before the tragedy.
‘You walk along the roads — and the shells stick out from the ground like tulips’
Iryna Korniichuk lived in Lysychansk. She saw Severodonetsk shelled and looked for food and medicine. She lost friends and almost lost her children — the dog saved them.
They refused to cooperate with the invaders in Vovchansk
Oleksandr Skrypnichenko, a Vovchansk city council member, and his wife Nataliia refused to work with the Russians. A married couple tells about searches, life under occupation, and emotions on the day the north of Kharkiv Region was liberated.
‘People melted snow and trapped pigeons’, — Mariupol resident’s story
A resident of Mariupol, Serhii is one of those who survived the city's tragedy. He witnessed the bombing of civilian objects, a humanitarian catastrophe, and graves in the yards of residential buildings. He says the Russians are building on the city's outskirts to divert attention, and the city lies in ruins.
My evacuation was like footage from an action movie…
The Russian military base was two hundred meters from Stepaniia Hirchak's house. Her village is located on the border of the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions. Stepaniia Stepanivna talks about spending a month in the cellar, fellow villagers supporting each other, and the night bombardments.
We survived through the help of people…
In 2014, a resident of Bakhmut, Liudmyla Chyzhova, buried two sons and a six-year-old granddaughter, whose heart could not stand the fright. In 2022, Liudmyla and her deaf-mute husband were forced to evacuate. The swift “Ikarus” [a bus] maneuvered between shelling and picked up people along the way.
War is not a sprint but a marathon
Kyiv volunteer Antonina Dembytska interviews Ukrainians who had to flee the war. To preserve the voices of witnesses for the history and future tribunal of war criminals. Here is her conversation with a resident of Vyshhorod, who stayed in the city to protect it.
The Russians shot far and wide and destroyed children’s boarding school
According to the city council, during the year of the war, Russian troops damaged and destroyed 111 infrastructure facilities in Kramatorsk, including schools, kindergartens, and other educational institutions. Volodymyr Savchenko, a resident of the city, witnessed these events.
The year of the Mariupol Drama Theatre: a look from inside
Liliia Mykhailiuk, along with her family, survived the airstrike. Her six-person group was in different parts of the Drama Theater building on the morning of 16 March 2022, and everyone managed to get out alive. We publish her account on the anniversary of the tragedy.