‘There was nothing left of the neighbor, only shoes...’
A resident of the Moshchun village in the Kyiv region tells about the horrors of the first war days.
‘Sashko and Vasyl Vasylovych were killed during shelling, and Slavko and Mykola were shot by the Russians’
Mykola Andriiovych Kostenko lives in the village of Moshchun on Lesnaya Street. In March, there was absolute hell in these parts.
‘At the plant in Volchansk, the Russians tortured even the priest with an electric shock’
We spoke with the deputy director of the aggregate plant, which used to be called the ‘concentration camp’ of Russians.
‘Grandchildren cried and said they didn’t want to die’
Kharkiv resident Nadezhda Bratashevskaya recalls living with her husband in the basement for two months: “As you go for humanitarian aid, you keep praying to God. Then, you press against the wall until the shell flies by or explodes.”
‘I was afraid they would cripple me’
Svitlana Holovata’s house in Moshchun was destroyed. Everything burned down: the beds, wardrobes, all wooden furniture, and TV. She said she felt like there was nothing there before.
‘My mom wanted to take poison, but she learned from a letter that we were alive.’ The story of a doctor from Mariupol, part 2
“After leaving Mariupol, we listened for 10 minutes to the birds singing and the grass rustling, and then we cried for a long time,” recalls children's doctor Hanna Shevchyk.
She found out she was pregnant the day Russia invaded
Previously, we published and translated into English an account of the everyday life of a doctor in a bomb shelter. But in fact, the story of doctor Hanna Shevchyk is larger. After the start of the war in Mariupol, her family moved to a bomb shelter under a candy factory. Soon Russians arrived.
‘There was a human being, and the body was torn apart in an instant’ — a Mariupol graduate who went through hell
She had to finish 11th grade, pass exams, and dance at graduation. But instead, she went through hell. A seventeen-year-old resident of Mariupol tells how she and her family ended up in a blockade and later went through the horrors of a filtration camp.
"Did the Chechens cut your heads? No? We will do it..."
“The children were also wounded: a piece of flash the size of a child's hand was torn from the boy's back and her daughter's head was cut very badly to the bone,” as a well-known Mariupol photographer managed to escape and evacuate the children.
‘They were trying to kill me, but I wasn't killed.’ — a story of a woman who saw the airstrike on the Drama Theater in Mariupol
52 years old Liudmyla and her dog Best have lost their home for the second time. They left Mariupol a day after the attack on the Drama Theatre. The next day their house was also destroyed.
‘They shot at our feet, near us, and one guy was wounded with an electric shocker...’
The Russian military said, “Now there will be an execution here, take everything out of your jacket pockets and sit down,” — how the Russian military mocked the volunteers in the occupied Mariupol.
‘In a panic, people abandoned their bed-ridden relatives.’ А resident of Mariupol story about how people were coerced to leave for Russia
Andriy Potayenko, a 47-year-old engineer left Mariupol on 24 March. During that month he saw tanks shooting at a kindergarten and residential buildings and even quarreled with the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) fighters.
‘I don’t want to see them in the dock. I want to see them dead,’ a man from the Mariupol Drama Theatre says
Vadym Zabolotny escaped from Donetsk after 2014 and moved to Lviv. Then he settled in Mariupol on the Azov Sea coast. Recent events have forced him to return to West Ukraine. Today the 59-year-old doctor works as a volunteer, helping his country to win the war.
“All the Buildings on our Street were Destroyed” (Rubizhne resident)
Taras Viychuk interviews Kyrylo Kutsenko from Rubizhne. He witnessed the battles for Rubizhne twice. In 2014, the city stood up. In 2022, the enemy completely destroyed it.
“I Gave the Dogs Vodka to Keep Their Hearts Going” (Mariupol Resident)
A businesswoman from Mariupol, Valeria Kaminska got out of the city and went to live in Lviv (West Ukraine). She was interviewed by Volodymyr Noskov and Denys Volokha.
‘The Russians fired at our car,’ a Kyiv region resident recalls
Tamara Buhera is a resident of Kozarovychi village in the Kyiv region. It was occupied in the first days of the war. When she, her friend and her son tried to flee, they were shot at. All three were injured. Her friend died of the injuries.
“I entered a store and burst into tears” — three weeks under bombardment in Mariupol
A resident of Mariupol, Olga says that each day people died nearby when they went outside to prepare food on open fires. When she first heard the explosions on 24 February, she told her son it was thunder. Later she could not stop crying when she realized what was going on.
‘There were more than fifty bullets in the body of a friend’
Children psychologist Vitaliy Stepanenko had been helping pro bono at a hospital in Dymer throughout 36 days of occupation. He said he saw everything — dismembered limbs, dead people.
‘People flew in the air like leaves — there was such a strong explosion’
Olena Gurina from Kharkiv has been hiding from enemy shelling in the subway for twenty days.