May 24, 2022

УСІМ | UWIN

Українська світова інформаційна мережа | Ukrainian Worldwide Information Network

PRAYING FOR THE PEOPLE OF MARIUPOL

4 min read

The faint hearted should not read this.

Yesterday, at our own risk, we left Mariupol under gunfire. We stayed overnight in a field in a gray zone. It was freezing outside, thank God we are alive. We are alive to scream that everyone who stayed in Mariupol needs help! This is not a city of heroes, this is a city of fear, death and horror.

We didn’t have a humanitarian convoy, no one took us out, we ran behind cars under fire, we joined a group and taped “Children!” signs on our cars. I personally put my own son in the car to the sound of a rocket flying into the next yard. No one saved us, we saved ourselves with the help of God.

There is no connection in the city, no water, no gas, no ambulances. People with torn limbs bleed in their yards and no one can help them. These are peaceful people – our acquaintances and relatives. The dead are simply being covered by soil where they lay. Their relatives can’t even find them later. Most often, these people are killed while searching for water, standing in lines, or while cooking soup on a campfire.

Yes, we collected snow, warmed it on a campfire, and cooked macaroni. My family was in the bomb shelter of High School No 2. Three days ago a shell flew there and shattered some of the windows. A woman was wounded in her hip. She laid all night on the first floor of the high school asking for someone to give her poison so that she would not feel the pain. There was no one to take her to the hospital. Every day and every night there are fire shots, whistles, shaking walls and horror: “Where will it hit.”

Doctors from Hospital No 3 (the part that survived) work heroically: they perform surgeries, they save people. The woman with the wounded hip was taken by the Red Cross within a day. I pray for her to survive. Two shells flew into our building and two into our yard. It tore off the neighbor’s leg.

My mother, Angela, and three brothers, Roman (16 years old), Vasya (11 years old) and Vladislav (9 years old), reside in a city-center building, on the fifth floor. My mother-in-law, Lyubov, and father-in-law, Anatoly, reside on the ninth floor. This building is currently completely damaged.

There are almost no shelters in the city left, no bunkers with ventilation. At best, people hide in basements. My mom’s building doesn’t have a basement. People need to be taken out – women, children, elderly people. Give us buses, a green corridor, make an arrangement!

I pray for my loved ones, every Mariupolian, and every Ukrainian soldier. The enemy came to us and left us no choice, but there is nothing more valuable than human life. This needs to end!

There is no food, no medicine. When there will be no more snow, people won’t be able to go out for water. Pharmacies, grocery stores – everything is either looted or burned. The dead are not taken out. The police recommends to the relatives of those who died of a natural death, to open the windows and put the corpses on the balcony, and then take them to church.

I know you think you understand what’s going on, but you’ll never understand unless you’ve been here. I can now hear the sound of sirens and I’m not afraid. Earlier there was no power for 16 days in Mariupol so we weren’t warned before planes dropped bombs on us.

I beg everyone to stop this! I don’t know what will happen next, but I pray that this will never happen again in any of the cities of Ukraine and the world. Nobody: a pregnant woman in the hospital who failed to give life because a shell fell on the hospital and killed her; a mother shaking in fear, covering her son in the hallway under the sounds of shaking walls and windows, and flying shells; an older man, left without a chance of survival; wounded civilians dying in street fighting. Nobody!..

They show you how buildings burn, but they don’t show you how people burn. Do I need to burn myself for you to believe that this has to stop?! I beg you to stop this!

These 21 days changed everyone. Everything has changed! Nothing matters now, costs nothing, as long as everyone left in this Mariupol hell would not be shaken in fear and horror.

Praying for the people of Mariupol!..

P.S. I have translated this from Svitlana Zlenko’s post. Please share it for others to understand the horror of Russian war against Ukraine.

Roman Sheremeta

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