Conflicts & War

Tales of tragedy emerge from Mariupol hell

By María Traspaderne

Mariupol, Ukraine, Apr 4 (EFE).- As residents of Mariupol make their escape via humanitarian corridors, so too do their stories of tragedy, loss and the hellish conditions unleashed on the heavily-bombarded port city.

A 22-year-old man identified only as Dmytro witnessed his mother die in a Russian bombing that he said targeted a humanitarian corridor near his Mariupol home.

“Our house is near a humanitarian corridor, and when were coming home, they hit it with missiles. My mother was in the garden and the bombs injured her head,” he told Efe at a center set up for evacuees in Zaporizhzhia, a city some 220 kilometers (136 miles) from Mariupol.

“She died two days later in hospital,” he added as he stood by a yellow bus carrying dozens of women, men and children who have escaped port city.

On Sunday, around 15 buses managed to leave Mariupol, from where there also emerges a trickle of private cars and vans escaping the hostilities.

Dmytro escaped “hell” on March 21, two weeks after his mother’s death. His father stayed behind to look after his grandfather, and he has not heard from his brother in weeks.

Valentina, 74, who also prefered not to give her surname, alighted from the same bus as Dmytro, carrying a large garbage bag stuffed with clothes and blankets.

“I want to cry,” she said.

“When they burned my house, I left Mariupol. I have no house to return to, we have nothing left. I could not imagine, in any way, that at this age I would have nothing left,” she added.

Anatoli arrived on Sunday with his daughter’s dog, Shishka.

“It’s horrible, it’s better not to go there,” the 84-year-old commented.

“Soldiers are in the city, killing people,” he said, adding that there is no gas, electricity, water or food.

“In World War II I also supported the army and when the Germans were leaving Mariupol, I went out to try to kill them,” he said.

“But this war is no comparison, the people are suffering and the Russians have shattered the city. They have very powerful weapons, not like seventy years ago,” he added. EFE


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