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.

‘People were buried near the hospital’

12.12.2023    available: Українською | На русском
Oleksii Sydorenko
Tetiana Solohub is a nurse at the Borodianka hospital in the Kyiv Region. She remembers how people buried the dead near the hospital, how the apartment caught fire, and how she ran home past Russian tanks that were shooting at the entrances. Tatiana has nothing left. She continues to work and save money to improve her life.

I didn’t believe it. I thought — how could a war start? I couldn’t believe it. But we prepared a little: we packed some bags and documents. When it got dark, we went to the basement, and we did that until the 27th. I worked in a hospital as a junior nurse and had to go on duty on the 28th. We sat in the basement, and it was cold there. I thought: I have to go on duty tomorrow, so I’ll go home. I walked in, and the house was empty; it was scary, the windows were closed, and it felt like you were in Chornobyl. I was afraid to look out the window.

I spent the night, and in the morning, I got up and started getting ready for work. Suddenly, a neighbor knocked on the door and shouted: “Run, Russian tanks have arrived. Quickly run to the basement.” I only took my bag with documents and ran to the basement of the next house because it was deeper. We ran in there and sat.

It happened at eight in the morning. And suddenly, tanks drove past the house. We sat there when the nurse called me: “Why didn’t you come to work? It’s already ten!”

And the tanks drove by for two hours; about three hundred tanks passed. I thought: “What kind of work?” And she — come quickly! The tanks passed, and I went out. I thought I’d go into the apartment and at least check what’s happening there. My windows face the road. I went into the apartment, and all the windows were broken. They rode in tanks and fired their high-explosive shells, breaking all the windows. The house was full of glass, and the balcony was shaking. I thought I’d tie it up so the frames don’t break, and then I’ll come back and clean up. I took the documents and went to work.

Tetiana Solohub, resident of the village. Borodianka, Kyiv Region

I came, and Klymenko Tania was there from Andriivka. She said that she couldn’t get home for the fifth day. In Andriivka, tanks were already standing in her yard, and her husband and child were sitting in the basement. She said I needed to get out somehow, but I didn’t know how. From 28 Feb to 1 March, we hid in the basement. Sick people who could not leave also stayed in the basement. Pregnant women also went down to the basement with their children. And then another person appeared. He was traveling, it seems, to Rivne from Kharkiv with his wife and children. One son was six years old, and the other was ten. In Teteriv, the bridge had already been blown up, but they were driving in the evening, didn’t notice, and the car overturned. The wife was in intensive care, and the eldest son died, but the man and six-year-old son were not injured.

They sat in the basement for a week, and this man could not bury the child. The body was at the hospital morgue. We left on 2 March, but he had not yet buried his son. Many were buried near the hospital.

On 1 March, at five in the evening, my friend called and shouted that my apartment was on fire. I wanted to run home! And what? What could I do? I was running home, and tanks were driving along the road. Someone must have provoked him because the tank stopped, and a Russian jumped out and started shooting at the entrances. He ran and shot, and I rushed, thinking at least he didn’t hurt me. I quickly went into the basement of the next house. They drove by, these tanks, and we came out of the basement, looked, and the apartments had already begun to burn. I’m on the third floor, and the fourth floor caught fire. There was no one to come and put out the fire, so I ran into my apartment, thinking maybe I’d take something. What should I grab? Everything was cracking, and the flames were bursting. I thought, now this house will collapse like a house of cards, and I didn’t need anything. So I was scared and ran out of the apartment. I looked, but what could I do?

House of Tetiana Solohub

I went to the hospital and spent another night hiding in the basement. In the evening, a Russian was running around. They brought him in and pulled the fragment out of his hand. And then they took him away. They brought another man, 72 years old, who was next to a destroyed house. They said that he went out to look at the tanks, and they shot him in the stomach. But there was no water, there was no X-ray, and nothing could be done, so he died there. We spent another night; bombs were thrown and thrown at Borodianka. On 2 March, I got up early, and everyone was getting ready to leave because planes were flying and throwing bombs. People said, let’s get ready quickly and go.

The ambulance was on its way, and I sat in it. We went to Semashko, and it was still possible to drive through. We went to Zahaltsi, and the guys came and took us away. They took me to Mihalki. I was there for ten days, and the Russians kept bombing and bombing Borodianka. The buses stopped at Myhalky and took the children out. I joined my relatives and went to Lviv. I left Myhalky at the beginning of the month and arrived in Lviv, but there was no place, so we went to Poland. I stayed there for a month when they called from work and asked: “Will you come back?” What could I do? I said: “I’ll.” I returned home on 27 April.

Tetiana’s apartment

I am 66 years old. Everything I had, all my worldly goods, burned and turned to ashes. There is nothing. I think I’ll keep working. I lived in the hostel for a month, and when these modular houses were built, I went to live there from the first day. This is how I live. I have second-hand clothes. When they brought food to school, they fed us there. This is how I survived: I walked in and took food. I’m currently working in a hospital. I thought if we didn’t pay rent, I’d at least save money for a sofa. I saved, but I had to have surgery on my kidneys, remove stones, and forty thousand... What I collected is gone. And so it goes in circles: this is how I live.

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