Ukrainian TV journalist Nadezhda Sukhorukova wrote a letter* from her hometown of Mariupol. We publish the script written by the 51-year-old about two weeks ago amid the horror of war. In the meantime, she managed to leave Mariupol and is now in Chornomorsk near Odessa.
I go out into the streets between the bombings. I have to walk my dog. He’s always sighing, shivering, and hiding behind my legs. I’m tired all the time. My garden, amidst the skyscrapers, is still dead, and I am no longer afraid to look around.
Across the road, the staircase of house number 105 caught fire. The flames had devoured five floors and began slowly chewing up the sixth floor.
Smoke rises over the destroyed houses of MariupolPhoto: Twitter / A30B
Three days ago a friend of my older nephew came to see us and said the fire station had been hit in the head.
Rescuers were killed. She tore her arms and legs, and the head of a woman. I dream that all parts of my body remain in place even after an air bomb explodes.
I don’t know why, but it seems important to me. Although, on the other hand, during combat operations no one is buried anyway.
This is what the police officers told us when we stopped them in the street and asked them what to do with the dead grandmother of one of our friends. They recommended placing it on the balcony. Interesting, how many balconies do corpses have on them now?
Our house is the only one (…) that was not directly hit. He was accidentally hit twice by missiles, windows flew out in some apartments, but they were almost undamaged, and they seem lucky compared to other houses.
The entire arena is covered with multiple layers of shards of ash, glass, plastic and metal. I try not to look in the direction of the iron block that fell in the children’s playground.
Alleged victims of a Russian attack: Bodies were covered in front of an apartment building in Mariupol just in case of emergencyPhoto: Alexander Ermoshenko/Reuters
I think this is a missile or maybe a mine. I don’t care, just uncomfortable.
I see a face in the second floor window and shiver. It turns out that I’m afraid of people who live.
“Even the wind is dead”
My dog started howling, and I knew they were about to start shooting again. I am standing in the street in broad daylight and there is complete silence all around. No cars, no voices, no children, no grandmothers on the seats.
Even the wind died. But there are very few people there. They are lying on the side of the house and in the parking lot, covered with outer clothing. I don’t want to look at her. I am afraid to see an acquaintance.
All life now lights up in the cellars of my city. It is similar to the candle in our section. Easy to delete. Every shock, every breath of the wind brings darkness. I try to cry but I can’t.
I feel sorry for myself, my family, my husband, my neighbors and my friends. I go back downstairs and hear the terrible sound of iron. It’s been two weeks and I don’t remember that at some point there was another life.
In Mariupol, people continue to sit in cellars. Every day it becomes difficult for them to survive. They have no water, no food, no light, and because of the constant bombardment, they cannot even go out into the streets.
Residents of Mariupol must live. Help them tell about it. Everyone should know that peaceful citizens are still killing here.”
* This text was first published by the Neue Westfälische newspaper