Russia-Ukraine war latest: Biden calling Putin a war criminal is ‘unforgivable rhetoric’, says Kremlin – live

After an airstrike flattened the school behind his house and artillery shells ripped apart a circle of neighbouring homes, Dmitry Yakhshyboyev went out to look for petrol.

His family, from seven-month-old son to parents in their 70s, had been cowering in their basement without heating, electricity or running water for two days, as Russian forces assaulted their village.

As the occupying soldiers razed buildings to the ground, taking their chances on a dash past tanks and through the frontlines gradually came to seem like the safer option for Yakhshyboyev’s family.

“We had a choice. Stay and die, or risk driving through the shelling,” he said, tracing the circles of destruction on a satellite map of his village, Posad-Pokrovske.

Dmytro Yakhshyboyev in his damaged car.Photograph: Anton Skyba/The Globe and Mail

They had an ancient Soviet-era Zhiguli car, its back windscreen blown out by shockwaves from the bomb that levelled the school. Yakhshyboyev’s boss at an IT store had stored about 10 litres of petrol.

So on Wednesday morning, the day after the school was brought down, and one neighbour’s house so totally incinerated that the remains “looked like an ashtray”, they set off in a two-car convoy.

There was barely room to cram their family into the car, with a small backpack of vital documents. The animals he loved like family – three dogs, seven cats, a cow, three pigs, three guinea pigs and several parrots – were set free to give them some tiny chance of survival.

“What a terrible day, what a terrible life,” he said, burying his face in his hands as he listed the beloved companions left behind.

When the group reached the relative safety of the port city of Mykolaiv, they paused, briefly, to gather supplies, patch up the back of the car with plastic, and consider how their lives had been ripped apart by the war.

It is a mark of how vicious the war in Ukraine has become that they considered this frontline city, where conversations are punctuated by the regular thud of artillery exchanges, something of a refuge.

Read more:


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.