Borodyanka’s road to hell: a city’s pain reduced to its foundations


If anything hurts in Ukraine, it’s a sad farewell. The despair of anonymous citizens whose names belie the pain. Tears flowed down with a stranger, as if there was no one, as if there was nothing.Air raids and artillery left little in this town borojankaabout 50 km northeast of Kyiv.

Not far from cities that became important in the days before the conflict, such as Irpin and Butcha – Hundreds of bodies found in the street this week -, the executive officer Vladimir Zelensky He feared the crowd had suffered the largest massacre in the region. Almost a month under the yoke of the Kremlin: from the beginning of March to the most recent flight to the Belarusian border.

Four weeks of fighting left no stone unturned. Destroyed homes, calcined armored vehicles and many broken windows. Buildings without any damage can perhaps be counted on. “Grozny, Grozny. It’s like Grozny,” said an experienced Swedish photojournalist after photographing a residential area devastated by plane bombs.

Ukrainian soldiers assess the damage to Borodyanka.

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Fighting in the city of Chechnya continued for another month, killing thousands and capturing the capital. In this case, the blood and fire theory of the common people was not enough to achieve the advance of the Russian columns in Kyiv, but it had already caused a large number of deaths. There are no official figures, but unlike neighbouring towns, the bodies were removed from the sidewalks on Tuesday. There were also reports of looting and executions.

“A day of war is months of reconstruction,” concludes Konstantin, a Donbas veteran who has been with the Kyiv police defending the capital since February 24. Dressed in a tactical uniform and armed with a rifle, he traveled to the 12,000-resident enclave with Vitaly, another former soldier and an expert on explosive devices.OBJECTIVE: To inspect camps and houses occupied by invading soldiers to avoid accidents that create new lives, and find Evidence of Russian crimes.

Conquer Kyiv

Vladimir Putin you haven’t pressed the button, the pilot (of the plane) knew that there were civilian houses below. They are also responsible for the genocide. Not long ago, we found in the Hostomel files the troops and diplomas they were going to get,” he said in the middle of the forest that allowed access to Borodyanka. The bridge connecting the city and Kyiv was in their flight. Now, a muddy forest trail It’s a makeshift road for ambulances, soldiers and TV cameras.

Borodyanka's neighbor talking to a Ukrainian soldier.

Borodyanka’s neighbor talking to a Ukrainian soldier.

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On the highway in the section, you can still see dozens of cars that didn’t escape. Some were burnt, others had bullet holes, and in several you could read a word painted white as a warning sign: Children.

A bleak picture, deprived of a Ukraine that never believed in a full-scale invasion. In the face of a victory in the Kyiv region, a forecast of defeat prompted caution. Is capital enough? What’s the next price to pay? Can the reinforcements from the east arrive in time?

Unanswered questions travel across charred fields, cows return to grazing, and a multitude of checking point Roadblocks changed hands within days. Now, blue and yellow flags are flying everywhere.

The residential building was destroyed after the invaders passed.

The residential building was destroyed after the invaders passed.

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ghost population

Charred main battle tanks and civilian vehicles adorn the horizon leading to the deserted city. Four young men recorded the destruction on their mobile phones, a retired couple observed firefighters in their flats, and women, who were almost always alone, walked down the street with shopping bags despite all the shops being ransacked.

Tatyana, 63, is one of them. With no teeth, black nails, and 20 years old, he admitted that the low pension allowed him to run dozens of kilometers to clean the office and received a bonus. Now she persecutes the Ukrainian army because they respect her.It is said that on the day the Russian army entered the city, she went to reprimand them In the cries of “aggressors”. She survived and is proud of it.

Other mothers and sons, like Svetlana and Nikita, were less willing to speak. They silently cleaned up the damage at the entrance to the pharmacy on the main road. The Russian attack left them with no business and no home. Where his house used to be, there is nothing now. A void between two half-demolition apartment buildings.

A neighbor of Borodyanka walks among the ruins.

A neighbor of Borodyanka walks among the ruins.

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All basic power and water infrastructure was completely destroyed. Without a telephone network, it would take many years, maybe decades, to restore the city to its former appearance. A scene of added humiliation, the dead already buried and those left under the rubble.

Neighbors, friends and family just cry in front of buildings that will never be seen again. Most women are looking for answers they will never find. Dreams are shattered, lives are lost. A city’s misery has been reduced to its foundation.

A wrecked car blocks a road in the city.

A wrecked car blocks a road in the city.

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Russian-Ukrainian War


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