Mariupol and its destroyed buildings and charred corpses

Posted on Friday, April 15, 2022 at 4:03 pm

Galina Vasilieva, 78, with bright red hair, points to a completely burnt nine-storey building: “Look at our beautiful buildings!” , exclaims, “The people are on fire inside.”

“I was in the construction sector, all these buildings were built by my generation. Now they bombed everything,” said the retiree, whose sarcastic remarks exploded as he stood in line in front of a truck of pro-Russian separatists distributing humanitarian aid. helps.

The martyred Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, seen by AFP during a press trip organized by the Russian army this week, has been hit by a deluge of fire that destroyed the infrastructure and homes of the half a million people who lived there when Vladimir Putin launched a firefight. His attack on Ukraine on February 24.

Today, after more than forty days, the fighting is confined to the vast industrial area near the seashore, where the Russian forces and their separatist allies in Donetsk laid down and then gradually tightened their terrible siege. The balance sheet is still unknown, but it is heavy.

Ukrainian authorities reported the killing of about 20,000 people.

Yuri Bukharev, a soldier in the armed forces of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk Republic: “Look for yourself at the situation in the city: there are a lot of dead.”

– ‘Like on a volcano’ –

A symbol of this suffering, a theater where hundreds of people had taken shelter in a basement was largely destroyed and burned after the bombing on March 16. How many are under the rubble? no one knows.

As for how, Moscow intentionally bombed the place. For the Russians, Ukrainian fighters used civilians there as human shields.

“When (we begin) to remove the rubble, the number of victims will be more clear,” notes Yuri Bukharev.

Now that most of the fighting is over, civilians like Galina are beginning to emerge, looking for water, food, or an exit from Mariupol, its ruins, and corpses.

“I know we escaped the horror and we don’t know what awaits us, we came like a volcano,” sums Tatiana, 59, a municipal employee, broom in hand, waiting for her. Also some humanitarian aid.

“It’s fear, panic! What do I say? Many people are suffering (…) Yes, there are dead people, we bury them directly in the courtyards of the buildings,” she continued.

Konstantin Mavrodi, 28, and his mother, Taisia, walked from their home to the hospital hoping to find a bus leaving for Volnovakha, another Russian-captured town, further north, where his grandmother could take them.

– ‘Beautiful, even like that’ –

“Today we had to run under fire, under bullets here,” he says, as their path ran along the Azovstal industrial zone where the Ukrainian army was still resisting, using underground tunnels dug at the time.

The young man, who was teaching the children a computer, explains that everyone has been living without electricity or internet since March 3. It is impossible to get or give news to relatives who live in Kyiv and Russia.

His future, he sees, is hardly dotted, and he turns his back neither to Ukraine, nor his homeland, nor to Russia, the neighboring superpower resting in the ruins of Mariupol.

“We ran under the bullets. Now we are simply people who want to live. In what country do we want to live? We’ll see that later,” he said.

Svetlana Iasakova, a 43-year-old accountant, has no immediate plans to leave.

“I’m homeless, and my apartment is completely destroyed. I moved there three months ago, a new, newly renovated apartment,” she says, though everything is smiling behind big glasses attached to orange lenses.

“Je vis le moment présent, aujourd’hui je suis ici, et demain sera demain. J’aime ma ville même dans cet état, elle est belle même comme ça”, poursuit Svetlana, rencontrée laussi pour dans ‘Humanitarian aid.

“I am with peace, love and calm. And as they say, God guides us and takes care of the matter.”

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