Ukraine, the story of those who survived the Russian passage: “They executed those who ran away. We risked starvation”

“Those who tried to flee were executed on the spot: real shootings”. If the Russians had not left the area northwest of the oblast of Kievpushed back by the Ukrainian counter-offensive, for Anatoly and Polina, as well as for their daughter Natalia Guran, it would have been hard to stay alive. Where the occupants’ bombs and violence failed, there could have been hunger and lack of water. After 37 days of total siege of the territory from the Belarusian border to the heights of Chernobyluntil the gates to the large Ukrainian capital, reduced without food and alimony, risked the two elderly people not being able to cope.

Today, they can tell their story through one of their daughters who spent a hell of a little village in between BuchaGostomel and Root: “No one thought that the invasion of the Russians would arrive so quickly and above all to our territory. Before February 24, we knew the times were tough – says the daughter, who is sitting with her parents on the bench in a park in Kiev near the hospital, where Anatolia, 77, treats cancer at a late stage – then suddenly on February 25th we started hearing the planes and helicopters above. They lived alone and I lived in another house, we finally found each other again when we saw the worst, but we had not thought about filling up with food. It surprised us. It’s amazing, two years ago my sister and I decided to bring our parents closer to us and above all away from Zaporizhzhia, so close to Donbass and therefore dangerous. Who could have imagined that the sick person would get on the doorstep? ”.

Eventually, the reunion was total in Natalia’s house, where the other sister and niece also arrived, and then fled to Poland. In five of those hiding in the country house, supplies were adequate for a period, but after the third week, they began to run out: “When there was no bread and water, it was a problem, we ate what was, pasta cooked with a little water collected and always in the evening so as not to be discovered by the Russians. My parents _ it’s always Natalia who speaks _, especially my father because of cancer, they had to adhere to a certain diet; it was obviously not possible, not to mention the treatments, skipped over weeks, and in fact his clinical picture is now compromised. Yes, we also risked dying of hunger and thirst, but then fortunately those tanks left on March 2. ” The Kremlin has denied responsibility for the violence of its soldiers in the area IrpinBucha and Borodyanka. Eyewitnesses and other overwhelming evidence maintain Moscow’s responsibility.

Also added to the unanimous chorus Natalia Guranmother Polina and father Anatoly: “We will not forget the “visits” of the Russian military, always violent and nervous. As soon as they arrived in the area, they occupied some houses, the empty ones and more. The residents were evicted at best. One of the requisitioned houses was located 200 meters from our house. From there they went to the houses’ a the hunt for neo-Nazis‘, so they said. Everyone was required to dress naked to see if anyone wore nationalist tattoos dedicated to Ukraine. It was difficult to accept this abuse, even though it was worse for others ”.

The story of the Guran family is dramatic in its extreme clarity, with no particular moments of emotion, but with great attention to detail: “I can not forget the visit to our house, the tank cannon aimed at the entrance – remember Natalia -. They removed all electronic devices, especially cell phones, turned them on, and looked inside to find out if we were potential dangers. Other phones that we had stored ran out and we were isolated because there was no power. All houses were looted and damaged, some were torn down with tanks breaking through the walls. A small house with a Ukrainian flag was destroyed and with it also the flowers and plants, another scar. In those days in March it was very cold and it made them take away all the menswear that could be useful. The raids lasted for days, they stole everything, even furniture, kitchenware, plates, glasses, any item that could have any value to them. When we got back to my house, the car was gone and almost everything was missing in the house ”. And then the executions: “Those who tried to flee were executed on the spot: real shootings. A woman in her 30s, hidden in a neighbor’s house, was discovered and raped. Many places after the Russians had left, so we used condoms lying on the ground. A neighbor of ours, a former policeman, hung himself before the residents found him ”. The Guran family will never return to live there: “Everything has been destroyed, the forest where we used to go for a walk is full of mines. It no longer makes sense. Maybe we will move here to Kiev”.

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