Stylist Máša described that before the war, thanks to the sea, there were a lot of vacationers in Mariupol, but after 2014 there was a decline. City dwellers also liked to go to the nearest villages, such as Melekyne or Bilosarayska kosa.
“I spent all my childhood in the garden and the city park of Mariupol, there is almost nothing left of it. Today I saw a photo of the part of the house where I grew up. There are no windows,” Máša wrote for Ukrainian Truth.
“But I have excellent news: mum and grandmother are alive! They are in the basement. My grandmother is 87 years old, she hardly goes there. Good people hid her in the basement. I don’t know if they have anything to eat and drink. I look for every opportunity to help them,” said the triple mother.
On the contrary, his second grandmother lived in the city center opposite the drama theater bombed by the Russians. He doesn’t know anything about her. The woman is 86 years old, has heart failure and lives on the 5th floor. “It’s very painful,” Masha said. Even if it’s difficult, it has to last because of the children.
They lived opposite the maternity ward, where the Russians dropped the bomb
The first “sounds of war” are heard on March 23. “My husband and I moved to the other side of the apartment, from east to west, because we heard explosions. But once we did, the explosions started on the other side. They decided to welcome us at 4 a.m., “ describes the moments just before the war.
On February 24, she was woken up by her husband, saying that the shelling had started in kyiv. They wanted to go visit their acquaintances in Irpini, but in the end they did not leave. “The people of Mariupol expected everything to be resolved quickly. This is the 21st century, people can talk!” she hoped. Every morning they said that the war would only last a few days.
“As the invasion began, we moved to a neighbor’s second floor because living on the fifth floor was dangerous. Our house is just opposite the maternity ward where the bomb was dropped. » remembers Masha.
At that time, they were about to heat tea on the kitchen in the kitchen, as they had no gas or electricity. Suddenly they saw a flash of light at the window. They no longer survived, the explosion knocking them to the ground, including their eight-month-old son, Vladik. The windows opened on the fly, even though they were glued.
“It never occurred to me that it could be an air strike. Before, there were only Grad rockets,” Masha said. Due to the 2014 experience, she taught her older children, who are 8, how to cover up. As her third son lay on the floor with his hands on his head, Masha took little Vladik away, hoping that he would at least have a moment to hide.
“Mom, why is there a war?” The Mumines read to the children in the basement
But then a second bomb landed. “ Masa said. Fortunately, the walls were plasterboard, so they just hit their heads and it tore their mother’s hands apart. They moved to the cellar, where they lived for about a week with three dozen other people. They helped each other, lit flashlights and candles, played chess to relieve stress, and even celebrated a birthday there.
They had food because Masha’s husband bought groceries from the start of the invasion. They cooked soups and porridge. When everyone ran out of gas, they pulled a grill out of a kitchen and cooked food over a street fire. “Every day at 6-7 a.m. when the curfew ended, the men would go out, light a fire, heat the water and cook. So if it was quiet when the shots were fired, everyone was running towards the entrance, towards the shelter, “ she says.
Next to their house was a pastry shop, where they went to get water and cookies. “Mom, why is there a war? mom asked. The mother had to be careful because if she died, there would be no one to breastfeed the youngest child. She tried to entertain the older children, so she read flashlight stories about the Mumíns by Tuve Jansson, written after World War II.
“When the looting started in the city, we went to see our grandmother and saw various pairs of shoes lounging near the central department store. People grabbed everything… Maybe it was a way of to manage stress “, Masha said.
It was difficult to find out about the humanitarian corridors
“What did I think of the basement?” Until the end, I believed that everything would be fine. I had the inner certainty that I would survive and that I would outlive my children. Many prayed. I’m no exception, although I can’t say I’m a believer. I don’t have any information about other relatives now, but I believe they are alive, they are fine,” Máša described.
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But they didn’t know how to find out about the humanitarian corridor and get away with it because the phone signal wasn’t working somewhere. Masha said that the official report on the escape routes does not always come, false information also appears. Therefore, some people left alone, as did Máša’s family in their neighbors’ car.
“I went to the apartment to collect things and saw many destroyed houses. I just got up and looked. I couldn’t speak. I also saw broken windows from the car , shards where my kids ran yesterday,” Máša described the city. They were driving all in white as a sign of peace, and their fear of them faded a bit when they saw other cars.
“Russian flags are already hanging in the settlement near Mariupol, where we are now. But there is peace. This is our transfer station, we are thinking about the next destination.” Máša has finished her story. She tries to imagine that she will return to Mariupol one day, but she still cries at the thought.