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.

‘Bodies were lying in the street. Neighbours covered them with blankets’

13.12.2023    available: Українською | На русском
Taras Zozulinskyi
“The bus stop was crushed like a tin can. Concrete slabs flew into the neighbouring street, and shrapnel damaged houses and windows. Imagine the force of the rocket strike,” said a resident of Lysychansk (town in Luhansk Region).

My name is Hanna Domodiedova, I am from Lysychansk. I was born in Troitsky district, but later moved. I graduated from Starobilsk Agricultural Technical College. Later I graduated from Kharkiv Institute of Management. Before the war I worked in a shop, but after the birth of my daughter I went on maternity leave.

We did not expect the war to start. We had a peaceful life. I had my own flat, which I was renovating. I gave birth to my child. We did not expect this horror in our lives.

What was the full-scale war in Lysychansk like for you?

During the night we heard a strange noise. Then around 7 a.m. we heard the whistles. I saw red trails in the sky.

I lived in the second district of Lysychansk. A nine-storey building in the fourth district was bombed. The rocket hit the middle of the building. In the evening there were more explosions. We had no military bases or equipment there. But every day and every morning there were military aircraft in the sky, bombing our town.

On the tenth day of the war, our town was almost completely destroyed. The shops were closed, the water was cut off. There was no electricity or communication.

People carried water from a well. I went to the well with my child. I don´t have a husband, so I had to take my child with me everywhere. I could not leave her with anyone.

Ганна Домодєдова, Лисичанськ Hanna Domodiedova, Lysychansk Анна Домодедова, Лисичанск

Hanna Domodiedova, Lysychansk

Then the shelling started so hard that the window handles flew out. I lived in house Nr.20. And house Nr.21 was nearby. At 7:15 a.m. a rocket hit that house. I don’t know which weapon they (the Russians) used, but the hole in the house was huge. Then I decided to leave the town.

In fact, the whole situation is terrible. We are close to the Russian border. We have always lived peacefully. We had relatives there, we married each other, we made friends. Why did this war start? Why did this aggression come from Russia when nobody expected it? They are Russian-speaking people like us! So why are they shooting us? My town is almost destroyed, and for what?

Have you witnessed criminal acts against civilians?

There was a residential complex with nine-storey houses at Leninsky Komsomol Quarter, 21. A rocket hit the middle of the complex. Only two of the six houses remained. Another rocket hit school Nr. 28. Another rocket hit house Nr. 28 in the fourth district. When I came out of my house, there were already first victims.

Bodies were lying in the streets and neighbours covered them with blankets.

The bus stop was crushed like a tin can. Concrete slabs flew into the neighbouring street, and shrapnel damaged houses and windows. Imagine the force of the rocket strike. The house closest to the blast was cracked all over. Schools and shops were also bombed.

Пожежа на Лисичанському НПЗ, 8 травня Fire at Lysychansk Oil Refinery, 8 May (2022) Пожар на Лисичанском НПЗ, 8 мая (2022)

Fire at Lysychansk Oil Refinery, 8 May (2022)

A rocket hit the “Donbas” shopping centre. There was a huge fire. The central market burned for two days. But it happened when I had already left the town. Next to the central market there were houses No. 18, 19 and 11. They were also damaged by the rocket. As well as schools Nr. 8 and 13.

What do your Russian friends think about full-scale aggression?

My friend has a relative in Russia. They (the Russians) don’t understand anything. They don’t believe that their soldiers are shooting us! They call it “liberation”. We tell them that they are shooting us, that we are suffering. And they say: “It can’t be, it’s liberation!” I say: “People are dying! What kind of liberation is that?”

Perhaps you would like to address the Russians?

I just want to address all those (Russians) who are fighting. You have children too! Stop this madness, we’re all human beings! Look at my daughter, look at your children! When you shoot us, don’t you think of your children? You wouldn’t shoot your own child! Why are you shooting our children? Why are you shooting us? Why are you bombing us? We haven’t done anything wrong to you.

Translation: International Society for Human Rights (German Section)

The article was prepared by the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group with the support of the Prague Civil Society Centre
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