Desolate landscape after the Battle of kyiv

must have been a Battle of Ordagojudging by the military supplies and the armored units abandoned. Here, next to a extensive wetland where the frogs they croak ceaselessly, not far from the district of Moshchunan handful of kilometers to the north of Kyivit is still possible to find military trousers stained with blood, boots with the corresponding identification of the soldier and even the inventory numberin addition to those unmistakable t-shirts blue-white horizontal bars that the Russian Army distributes among its men. The Russian BRDM amphibious vehicles that tried unsuccessfully in mid-March to force their way into the nearby capital remain. In the same place where they were destroyed, reduced to a mass of iron twisted Y rusty. The fighting ended more than a monthbut the war is still very present in the landscape and the consciences of the locals.

Motilkov Y Mankin They were the surnames of the two soldiers from the neighboring country to whom that shoe, lined with dried mud, belonged. “It is difficult to know what happened, why they undressed; it is possible that lose contact with their unit and dress in civilian clothes to go unnoticed“, Explain Dima Korbut, a member of the Territorial Defense, the volunteer corps formed by the Ukrainian government to collaborate in the fight against the occupiers. This civilian with military training warns the small entourage of reporters that the approach to the destroyed armored vehicles must be made cautiously and following some boards placed on the parched mud, since the place was mined by attacking troops in its fold.

Valentina Kushan was one of the few inhabitants of Moshchun who declined to be evacuated after the start of hostilities, the February 24th. “I have dogs and cats; in addition, I have suffered from cancer and I am being treated with hormones,” she justifies. In the first days, the war seemed to be taking place in the distance, although the panorama changed quickly. By the time he realized that he had to flee at all costs, he already It was late: the war had trapped him and he could not leave the village because his house was in a disputed area, in which Russian and Ukrainian soldiers constantly made temporary incursions and then retreated. Any movement involved a great danger.

hidden in the basement

“I took refuge with my neighbor in his basement; we were in the dark and we talked in whispers so that the Russians, if they came, wouldn’t find us,” he explains. There was a day when he left the shelter to feed his animals, he thought he saw a ukrainian soldier and was about to make a sign to him. But at that precise moment, one of his dogs began to bark, which gave him time to realize that the uniform and the material did not correspond to that of the women. kyiv troops. On March 8, he had a new meeting with soldiers, in this case nationals whom he distinguished for wearing a yellow band. They were surprised to see that there were still people in Moshchun and they gave him “ten minutes to get out.” “We took a car and left in a hurry,” he recalls.

In mid-April, after the Russian withdrawal, Valentina was authorized to get back home. He was pleased to see that the construction of two plants still standing, though with considerable damage: the walls and ceiling were riddled with shrapnel, the windows had been smashed out, and much of the furniture was destroyed. But what surprised her most was coming to the conclusion that in his absence, his abode had become a barracks for knobs rank russian military. “They left dozens of military maps“, he explains, while showing the documents and taking the opportunity to show the camera the military ration boxes and of russian ammunition.

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The corrective the attackers received in Moshchun pales in comparison to what they experienced in Mirotske, about six kilometers to the west. Here, one airborne division elite made up of some 10,000 soldiers was installed in a nearby forestfelling trees, digging hundreds of trenches and installing important military infrastructure that also had to be abandoned in a hurry when Moscow ordered a withdrawal.

Volodymyr Tishenkoa local who had the occasional run-in with the Russian occupiers due to his daily efforts Of swimming in the nearby lake, he extracts from among the remains a specimen of Krasnaya Zvezda, the Russian Army newspaper, in front of a charred truck. In addition to military vehicles, the Russians also left a trail of dead. three corpses of mendisfigured, tortured and with the ripped nailswere found in a mass grave in this same forest.

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