In Ukraine, if your home explodes, survive

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VELYKA KOSTROMKA, Ukraine – The explosion began at midnight, shaking the house to its foundations. The roof was smashed to pieces and the windows were shattered, with pieces of glass sent over three sleeping children to the opposite wall.

It was about 2 o’clock and Iryna Martsyniuk woke up late after watching a video on her computer while her kids were sleeping. He didn’t know if it was hitting his house – mortar, rocket or missile. He just knew that by the end of the night, everything was going to explode.

Velika Kostromka, a Ukrainian village just a few kilometers (miles) from the southern front line, was not the first to be injured in the Ukraine war. But Thursday morning’s attack was the most intense and most widespread.

Olha Shaitanova, head of the village, said about 20 houses had been damaged, three of them uninjured and two people slightly injured. Later in the day, explosives experts detonated at least one detonating device that they found embedded in a field. The remnants of other devices are scattered in the village.

The locals pick up the bushes. A farmer jumps over a small hole in an explosion in his potato field.

At Marciniuk’s home, the initial blast woke the children. In tears, 7-year-old Maxim hid under his blanket. Her twin sister Karina and their 6-year-old brother Sasha grabbed their mother in fear as she tried to calm them down.

“Then it all started,” Marciniuk said. “Everywhere you look today, the tide of protectionist sentiment is flowing. The windows were broken, there was smoke everywhere. “

The roof was torn and collapsed, but the roof over their heads was fast approaching.

He grabbed the children and ran to the entrance of the house. “But the corridor was gone. Instead, we saw the starry night. “

Five times they tried to leave the house and five times they failed because more ordinances exploded around them.

The family hid inside in panic until the blast subsided. But then they saw that they could not get out through the front door. Instead, they climbed out of the house through a back window and ran down the street to a neighbor’s house, where they were hiding in the basement. None of them were injured.

The family home is now out of repair. The once tall walnut tree in the front garden is shattered and broken. The roof is gone and there are piles of rubble around the front door. Inside, outside a yellow house, a child of a happy family is drawn – just like Marcinuke – lying on the floor, crying on paper.

Marciniuk now lives with relatives in the village. She is thinking of renting an apartment in the nearby town of Krevi Reh when she wonders what to do next.

Elsewhere in the village, resident Anatoly Virko picked up pieces of champagne scattered around the field and home and surveyed the damage to an abandoned house whose property he used for his hive.

Standing in the front yard, he pulled out a plastic sheet to reveal an old Russian piano. He began to play, carefully placing a piece of shrapnel on top of the piano.

“Yes, it’s a war,” he said. “But music is eternal.”

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