war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

‘Nothing left. Everything was burnt out’

16.11.2023    available: Українською | На русском
Oleksii Sydorenko
Serhii Radchenko from the village of Makariv is 70 years old. Despite his age, he and his neighbors were forced to independently repair the roof and restore order in the house that had been damaged by Russian shelling. He says the apartment still floods, and sometimes he has to pick out 15 buckets of water.

They wobble if you stand on these slabs [on the roof]. You can imagine how we walked in the first days: you walk, your legs shake, and you think you will fall through.

I live with my wife, the children have their own home, and there are grandchildren. My son called at night when the war began. “Dad, war!” My wife and I got together. I have a garage nearby, about 300 meters away. We lived in the garage until the fifth; on the fifth, we left for the Bohuslavskyi district, the village of Chaiky. The Russians had already started shelling the houses, and on the 5 March, the shelling was so bad it was scary. We were forced to flee.

Serhii Radchenko, urban-type settlement Makariv, Kiev Region

Something was whistling, buzzing, shooting. The bridge was already wrecked, but the house was still intact. I got a call in March, and they said the garages had burned down. The flames did not reach my garage. I’m lucky. I was fortunate with the apartment because my apartment is on the other side, so it wasn’t hit. Shells were flying around... They [the Russians] were in Makovychy and Makariv. They lived there in a four-story building.

We returned on 24 April or 26th. A neighbor called: “Serhii, come, everything is leaking, we can’t cope without you.” And we returned home. Two days later, we began to restore order, cutting down trees near the house and mending the roof to protect what was left.

This is what the technical floor of the high-rise building where Serhii lives looks like now

Many shells flew in and destroyed the stairs in the house. Our staircase is intact, but there are no apartments left. There was nothing at all. Nothing! Everything burned out. Finally, they started to clear the rubble. When dismantling it, they used such equipment that we feared the house would collapse. Everything was shaking, but they carried out an examination and said that the house was still subject to repair and they would continue to build it. But when?

The roof of the house burned down. Fully! There is no roof at all. The roofing felt burned out. We have lived like that for almost two years and constantly get cold showers.

This is what the roof of the house looked like in April 2022.

There used to be a hip roof, like the one in the next building. And now we patched everything up with roofing felt. Here, we put two or three layers of roofing material, and it holds at least a little, but when it rains, it flows.

We do everything on our own. I just got off the roof yesterday. I am 70 years old, and I’ve been patching the roof with my hands. No one else can do it. My entrance is like this — only girls, women without men. We have to do everything ourselves.

Russians were everywhere, including in the surrounding villages. I have neighbors whose house in the village burned down. Here, an apartment burned down, and a garage burned down. They have nothing else. This is how people live. I’m alive and well; the apartment is intact; it’s just flooding. I don’t have any compensation, just water flowing on my head. I live on the first floor and fill 15 buckets! Not liters, but 15 buckets. This is the truth.

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