“I will beat you! I’m going to hit you for the third time!” . On his sickbed, Breslavets, surrounded by his older sister Anna and two other children, happily enjoys his victory in the naval battle. The 12-year-old has recovered well from his injuries.
Three days earlier, he was waiting with his sister and mother in a train car at the Kramatorsk railway station when two rockets fell on the scene, killing 52 people, including five children.
According to the city’s mayor, Alexander Goncharenko, 4,000 people had fled the Donbass, where the Russians announced that they wanted to concentrate their offensive.
A few days earlier, the Ukrainian authorities had asked the residents of the region to pack up immediately.
“If we hadn’t been at the main wharf, we would have died.”, says the mother Anna, still traumatized. A man in his forties, pale face, glasses screwed on, dark circles under his eyes, a small wound is still bright red on his forehead.
The psychological scars are indelible.
“Everyone else was dead”
Between two questions she marks periods of silence, her gaze is blank. “We had been sitting for ten minutes when the first explosion took place, then another.“As they exit the car, they pass a woman kneeling in tears beside her husband, touched but alive; “tEveryone else was dead.”
The tent set up in the station by volunteers who distributed food was blown up. His neighbors, who were by his side at the time of the attack, suffered more serious injuries. “We went to the hospital, but there were no more places and not enough doctors. Some of the injured were sent to other nearby towns.”
They were transported to a clinic in Dnipro, the second largest city in the east, 250 km to the west.
According to Victoria Kulik, head of the city’s health department, 98 people, including 19 children, were transferred there in the hours after the bombing.
In the basement of the building, wooden pallets and sandbags on trolleys serve as barricades near the windows. “This is to avoid glass splinters in the event of an explosion.”informs Sergei Evgonov, head of the anesthesia department.
Anna’s children are recovering in the ward reserved for minor injuries.
“Nothing good will happen in the East.”
More patients are in intensive care. Sleeping on a bed, a 5-year-old girl is recovering from head surgery. Next to it is an empty bed. Its occupant, a boy of the same age, “is being operated”, indicates Mr. Evgonov, his hand was torn off.
In an adjoining room, another girl falls into a coma, her face swollen and clogged all over.
On the next bed, a boy screams in pain as a nurse changes his bandage and a second tries in vain to comfort him by showing him videos on a phone.
Next, a little girl moaned painfully, tears in her eyes. During his coma, doctors had to remove his liver and spleen. “Some children will be sent to Lemberg in the next few daysconfirms the specialist. European countries are also ready to support them.”
Until then, Anna refused to leave Kramatorsk, where “she worked and earned money”.
Some of his friends still live there for similar reasons. Supermarket closures and broken ATMs encouraged them to do so.
The encounter with death definitely convinced her. She plans to take the road to the west of the country, with no specific destination for now, but “away from the war. Nothing good will happen in the East.”