Debris
    7 April 2022

    Debris

    20 short stories of this war that we must never forget

    This story was created with the support of our readers.

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    A man, whose brother had not been in contact since early March, finally found his body—his brother was shot in the back in his own home in Vorzel, then they doused the body with gasoline and set it on fire.

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    A mother who, with trembling hands, wrote her daughter’s name, surname, date of birth and contacts of relatives on her back with a ballpoint pen, in case one of them gets killed or the child gets lost.

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    A girl from the bombed-out Mariupol who was named Ukrainian Anne Frank for documenting war chronicles in her diary.

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    An old lady from Bucha, who could not tell anything about herself except her name, so journalists searched for any of her relatives on Facebook. And found them.

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    A villager from near Kyiv who tried to evacuate in his own car but was shot dead in it on the Zhytomyr highway—his relatives managed to find out about his death a month later, but they were not allowed to take the body immediately because it was probably mined.

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    A young woman from Kharkiv who stayed in the city to look after her seriously ill mother. The woman had been raped by a Russian occupier for a week, and then he shot her mother dead right in front of her.

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    A 12-year-old boy and his mother from Irpin were buried in the yard of the residential complex where they had been living until they were killed by mortar fire just outside.

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    A man whose phone was stolen by the occupiers and who does not know where his wife managed to escape and whether she succeeded at all, and now he is asking to find her through social networks and volunteers.

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    A 4-year-old boy, Sashko, who disappeared while fleeing the shelling by boat with his grandmother. Entire Ukraine looked for him, but found him dead—the boat probably capsized because the Russians were shooting at it.

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    A pregnant woman from the Mariupol maternity hospital, whose hip was shattered by an explosion and who asked to finish her off because she did not want to suffer, and then died along with her child.

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    A Ukrainian football player from the village of Motyzhyn, who was killed along with his parents. The occupiers had kidnapped the family, because the footballer’s mother was the head of the village.

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    A 6-year-old boy who turned gray after the occupiers had raped his mother several times right in front of him. The woman later died of severe injuries incompatible with life.

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    A woman who attached the tags with her son’s personal information to his clothes in case the boy gets lost in the crowd heading to or crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border.

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    A resident of Bucha, who lost his entire family to the shelling and now gives interviews to journalists right in the cemetery, on the graves of his wife and children, to witness this crime of the Russians to the world.

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    An 11-year-old boy who traveled alone from Zaporizhia to Slovakia and crossed the border at night, carrying only a package with his passport and a phone number written by his parents on his hand.

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    A photojournalist who filmed in Ilovaisk and escaped alive, and eight years later was killed by two shots in the head in the Kyiv region.

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    A pensioner who was shot right in the street when he was heading to the house next door to feed his old bedridden mother.

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    A 6-year-old boy from Bucha who brings canned food to his mother’s grave. She died of starvation during the occupation of the city—now she is buried right in the yard of their block of flats.

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    A woman from Irpin who bought an apartment in a new residential complex and was doing repairs there when an enemy shell hit the building. Later, she was captured in a famous photo—the one where civilians are hiding from shelling under a destroyed bridge.

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    A resident of Bucha who lived in the basement for more than a month. He personally buried three of his friends in the yard. One of them he gathered in parts—the occupiers gave him 20 minutes for all the burials.

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    Дочитали до кінця! Що далі?

    Далі — невеличке прохання. Будувати медіа в Україні — справа нелегка. Вона вимагає особливого досвіду, знань і ресурсів. А літературний репортаж — це ще й один із найдорожчих жанрів журналістики. Тому ми потребуємо вашої підтримки.

    У нас немає інвесторів чи «дружніх політиків» — ми завжди були незалежними. Єдина залежність, яку хотілося б мати — залежність від освічених і небайдужих читачів. Запрошуємо вас приєднатися до нашої Спільноти.

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