war crimes in Ukraine

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‘The dog saved us...’

21.11.2023    available: Українською | На русском
Oleksii Sydorenko
Tetiana Lukianenko is a resident of the village of Zahaltsi, Kyiv Region. A slab fell on a woman while she was hiding with her dog and son in a cellar during the bombing. The family moved to the summer pavilion when suddenly the Russians showed up.

I live with my son; I am a pensioner. I couldn’t imagine Russia and Ukraine being at odds. Could not! We went to Russia to visit relatives. I could neither foresee nor imagine this.

One day, I was sitting in the house when I heard the gate open. I said to my son: “Serhii, someone is there.” — “Mom, you imagined it. There is no one there.” And I had such anxiety: my heart was pounding, my head hurt. I said I’ll go out anyway. I approached, and there was a crack in the gate. And I saw the chair I put out when I was collecting nuts. I returned to my son and said: “Serhii, someone is sitting in military uniform.” I still don’t know who it was. Then, the bombing began. Tanks began to arrive. They stood near Valia’s [neighbor’s] house and bombed it. They drove by and shot just like that.

Тетяна Лук’яненко — жителька села Загальці на Київщині

Tetiana Lukianenko — resident of the village of Zahaltsi, Kyiv Region

My house was riddled with bullets, probably. The roof was blown off, and there were no windows or doors. When the cellar collapsed, I was there. We lived there with our son and dog. And the Russians drove by and started shooting. I was in the cellar on the steps, I sat down, and the top slab fell on me. I couldn’t get out. It was painful. Sergei closed my mouth so that I would not scream and they would not hear that someone was there. In the end, they left, and then I was in the hospital. To be honest, my memory became very bad. The slightest rattle or knock sets me off. I’m shaking, crying, like I’m crazy. Such is my condition.

Так зараз виглядає будинок пані Тетяни

This is what Tetiana’s house looks like now

One day, these Russians came in, and we were here. Serhii said: “Mom! This is it! The Russians are already here.” I said: “What should I do? Where should we go? The cellar collapsed. What should we do?” And we had a summer pavilion near the cellar. We went there, and Alma was with us. The puppy is small.

Альма, собака пані Тетяни

Alma, Tetiana’s dog

The dog saved us. Two Russians came in with machine guns, pointed them at us, and our puppy approached them and licked their hand. And one melted: he looked at us, looked at the puppy, and they turned around and left. The dog saved us; if it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t exist. They would have shot us, that’s all.

There was a cellar here, and there was an entrance. Here, we had a gazebo where we loved to sit and have tea. And here we had a shed, something like a workshop. We stored extra furniture there. All this is missing, too.

Залишки погреба та альтанки

Ruins of a cellar and gazebo

The Russians were driving along the highway. It seems they fired from there because everything on that side is also broken. This is what happened: they stood on the road, and something big, very big, took off. It took off and fell into the garden, and we have a high-voltage pole. Something large and made from metal fell. There was a hole there. Stepan pulled out an explosive device from there.

When the Russians drove here from the highway, they also destroyed everything. The neighbor’s house was destroyed. Our school was demolished, and it still stands in ruins. The shops were destroyed.

What did they want? What did Putin want? What was he trying to achieve? What? However, when you watch TV, everything becomes clear. It seems to me that he is a sick man! Who knows.

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