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  • Українці розповідають про пережите під час війни з росією

    Ukrainians talk about their experiences during the war with russia

    Kyrylo Zaklunnyi: “We were leaving Bucha on foot. On our way, we bypassed the bodies of the mercilessly killed people”

    АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation:

    25 June 2022

    Kyrylo studied in college, so his weekdays passed. After classes, he worked in a bathhouse in Irpin to raise money for his teenage cravings. In his spare time he played with friends and his life was carefree. Then he had no idea that one day he would close his eight-year-old sister’s eyes so that she would not see the corpses scattered along the way.

    On February 24, at seven o’clock in the morning, my mother woke me up. She told me to lie down away from the window, as two rockets flew by and war broke out. I immediately opened my smartphone to read the news. At that time, explosions rang through Ukraine. We decided to go to the West and started packing, but there were terrible traffic jams on all the roads. Then the explosions were heard somewhere in Hostomel (we lived in Bucha, and this is nearby).

    Videos of the battle at the Hostomel airport were published on local Telegram channels. It was bombed by enemy helicopters. We could hear the explosions. We decided not to go because we were afraid to get stuck in a traffic jam and get hit.

    In the evening, the bombing began. We lived in a private house and we didn’t have a basement,  so we went to the neighboring high-rise. We spent three nights there, and in the afternoon we went home when it was calm.

    On February 27, the electricity was turned off. And on the 28th, we were sitting in the basement and we heard heavy machinery driving past us. About two hours after that, we decided to go home. I immediately went to bed. The next morning, my parents told me that a hostile IFV was passing, which the Russians had abandoned while fleeing from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Neighbors found food in it, backpacks, a bullet-proof vest, and drained diesel from it. My father took machine oil and started making Molotov cocktails together with the neighbors.

    Kyrylo Zaklunnyi

    On the 1st of March, at about ten o’clock in the morning, we went to the store. There, the products were given for free. Along the way, we met three units of armored vehicles with our military.

    When we were standing in line, there was a fight on the other side of Bucha and the shell hit the house, which was near us, literally 100 meters away. We took the food and quickly went home. In the evening, the electricity was turned on. It was a very pleasant event. I didn’t think that such usual things could make me happy.

    The situation was getting worse. The first attempt of evacuation

    On the 4th of March, Bucha was already occupied and the power supply was interrupted. Until then I spent three days playing on the console in the headphones, but even they did not save me from the loudness of the explosions. We slept, ate, and did everything under the sound of shots and explosions. When the light was turned off again, it became difficult. The charge on the phone had to be saved and there was nothing to do.

    “The next day, the water supply disappeared, and the next day after that, the gas was turned off as well. The temperature was still below freezing outside and it was cold enough. We wore winter clothes all the time, slept under three blankets, and cooked in the fire”.

    On the 8th of March, we went to the nearest store. It was almost all looted, but there were still drinks in the warehouse and household chemical goods. We found food between the boxes. We also went to the pet store to get food for the cat. When we left, we saw a column of machinery driving along the next street and we quickly went home.

    The next day we found out about the evacuations and came to the center of Bucha. A good many people were there. We waited for the buses until five o’clock in the evening, but they did not arrive. Besides, it was pretty cold. At night, we could not sleep because there was enemy artillery nearby and explosions with flashes kept us awake.

    We did evacuate. Bypassing corpses

    On March 10, at ten in the morning, we went to evacuate again. At 12:30, a column of people decided not to wait for the buses, but to go on foot through Irpin. We decided that we would wait a little longer. At 2 p.m. we thought that the buses would not come and went on foot. We had a few other travelers with us. Together, there were about 16 people. The city was crushed, all the showcases were broken, the houses were without windows, and many cars were burnt. When we passed the crossing, we decided to follow a parallel road from the main street, as the main street was overstuffed by vehicles. When we reached the end of the street, we had to turn and go down to the main street, and we would be in Irpin, near the shopping center “Zhyraf”.

    Houses that came under fire from Russian troops in the city of Bucha

    We saw a terrible picture: about eight people were lying on the road. A man on a bicycle, a man, a silhouette of a woman. We had to walk past them. My father was carrying our belongings and was ahead, my mother was tired, so I led my sister, closing her eyes. Having descended, we reached our checkpoint. We were met by AFU soldiers. They cheered us up, put us in a mini-bus, and took us to the Romanivka bridge. There, crossing the beams across the river, we were put in ambulances and taken to Kyiv. There we were met by relatives. Two days later, we went to Bulgaria.

    Чому важливо поширити цю історію?
    Якщо українці не розповідатимуть свій погляд на війну в Україні, світ поступово забуватиме про нас. Натомість цим обов’язково скористаються росіяни. Тому не даймо їм жодного шансу.

    Why is it important to share this story?
    If Ukrainians do not share their views on the war in Ukraine, the world will gradually forget about us. Instead, the Russians will definitely take advantage of this. So let's not give them a chance.

    АвторAuthor: Yulia Zarudnitska | Translation:

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