“I asked God to die quickly and not to see how my close ones die,” 17-years-old Mariupol survivor told about famine, atrocities, and cruelty in a city blocked by Russians
17-year-old Maria Vdovychenko told Hromadske how she and her family managed to escape from Mariupol, a city in the Donetsk region, which is besieged by Russian troops. The girl said that from the very beginning of the full-scale invasion, the city was shaking from the shelling. One day their house was destroyed too. “The upper floors of the house simply collapsed. Pieces of concrete, furniture, and slate from the roof fell, and glass flew. People were shouting everywhere” tells Maria. She and her family found shelter in a basement. “We saw various horrors in the basement. When people ran out of food, they turned into animals. They were ready to kill each other for a sip of water. There was nothing to cook from. People extracted water from ice and snow,” says Maria.
“There was no kindness, only darkness, and we already smelled the death.” The girl thought they would all die: “I asked God to die quickly and not to see how my close ones die.”
One day they managed to leave Mariupol under fire. Arriving in one of the villages occupied by Russian troops, the family bought only two loaves of bread due to inflated prices. Later, the family came under the so-called filtration, where they were searched and interrogated by the Russian military. Maria overheard the Russian military saying they were killing those who did not pass the filtration. During the inspection, her father was beaten, and he almost lost his sight. However, they were released. When Maria and her family reached the territories controlled by Ukraine, they could not believe that they were safe. Now the family is safe and waiting for long-term recovery, mental and physical.