Ukraine: fled from Mariupol, ‘city destroyed and dead bodies on the street but we will be back soon’

The house where he lived with his family, in the center of Mariupol not far from the theater bombed by the Russians, no longer exists. Just as the entire center of the port city on the Black Sea no longer exists, a city martyred in the war in Ukraine besieged and bombed by the Russians. She tells Adnkronos, Alevtina Scevtsova, that she managed to escape from that hell. First destination ” Zaporizhzhia, but from what I see there too the situation is not very safe ”. Now she, with her 8 year old daughter, she is in Kryvyi Rig, not far from Dnipro.

” I don’t want to go abroad and not even west. I believe that the city of Mariupol remains ours and we can go back, ” she says. In the meantime, they say ” happy to be safe, especially because this morning we learned that the house we were staying in is no longer there and that it had a shelter in which there were about 70 people ”. Simple acquaintances, maybe not even that one, but ” we have created ties with many of them these days ” and now ” all my thoughts go to Mariupol and the people who are there ”.

In the meantime, Scevtsova prays, she has prayed since the war began even though she defines herself as a “not very believer”. And while she says that “ there is no point in planning for the future ” she remembers that February 24, which was supposed to be a holiday for the family, her brother’s birthday. ” We wanted to celebrate ”, she says, but ” my husband who works in the Asovstal steel plant called me saying that Russia had attacked. We were ready because Mariupol has been defending its borders since 2015 ”. No one, however, “expected her to go this way.” So ” we decided to stay there ” and ” we went to the west side of my parents’ house to celebrate ”. After the party, the thought for the in-laws who lived in the eastern neighborhood that was attacked in 2015. ” We took them downtown. Now that neighborhood no longer exists, ” says Scevtsova.

” Until March 8 we were staying with my parents. We had food supplies, but we were afraid of running out and didn’t know how we were going to do it next. The looting in the shops had begun and from that day also the attacks in our area. The Ukrainians defended us, but the Russians hit and we saw rockets above our building. Also on March 8, the windows blew up. It was very cold. We slept in the hallway, dressed and hoping to protect ourselves there, ” he says. It was on that day that Scevtsova and her family realized that she could not stay in the western part of Mariupol. Leaving the house ” we saw a girl with injuries to her leg, she was bandaged with some plasticized cloth and she was begging us to find a car to take her to the hospital. But we couldn’t do anything. We also saw the body of a man covered with a cloth ”.

On the way, together with her parents, husband and daughter, Scevtsova sees “many houses destroyed” and walks “trying to protect us during the shooting”. Once we went downtown, ” we saw that the situation was calmer and you could still sleep in the apartment and not in the shelter, also because it was full of people. We organized ourselves very well in the building. We chose people who stood guard, cooked in the street over the fire, checked that there was no looting. But then they started hitting the center with heavy artillery: bombs, rockets, missiles ”. At that point there was no choice but to leave Mariupol.