Gordana Kruti, a Ukrainian living in the Polish capital, Warsaw, has not heard from her mother in Mariupol, her occupied country, for 10 days. His phone rang on Saturday (March 12) morning. The call was coming from an unknown number. “Something happened to my mother.” Fear opened. The woman on the phone said her mother was alive and wrote her a letter to pass.
Recalling that Mariupol in the Donetsk region of Ukraine had been resisting since the war began in the east of the country in 2014, Kruti said in an article for the British Guardian that he had never denied the volume of his cell phone, thinking his mother would call.
He was able to get news in the first days after the occupation began on 24 February, but he did not hear from the city and his mother, where there had been no electricity since early March.
‘Tell the World We Have Nothing’
“The phone call I received that morning was a miracle. 10 days later someone is telling me that my mother is alive. The woman who called me read my mother’s letter describing the situation in the city. In the first line, it is clear that there was a humanitarian crisis. “ Kruti said his mother had asked him to let the world know that they had nothing in Mariupol.
Finally, Kruti, who heard her mother’s voice in the early days of her career, said she realized what it was like to sit in the dark every evening, in an environment that was only illuminated when bombs exploded, when there was an explosion, and to think that she had forgotten and the world. Abandoned by:
“Some people risked leaving the city. It takes 28 hours by train from Mariupol to Lviv. People thought the whole country was on fire and the train journey was very dangerous. On March 3, it was announced that the city was isolated from the rest of the world. The railroad was damaged at night. The evacuation plan was officially announced on March 5. However, only a few private cars have been able to leave the city. Only a few hundred people were able to leave the city, which has a population of over 400,000. “
They burn furniture, they melt snow water
Explaining that there is no electricity or running water in the city, the mobile phone network does not work, Kruti said that one more thing is missing every day, markets that only accept cash are running out of stock in a short time, people burn their wooden furniture and cook on this fire. Trying to warm up by melting snow and getting water.
Noting that these are not permanent solutions, a city like the capital Kiev does not have an air defense system and it is dangerous to be outside during an air strike, Kruti said, adding that nighttime temperatures drop to minus eight and are lacking. Heat and medical aid can kill people, though not as fast as bombs.
They are buried in gardens or mass graves.
“The cemetery in a small village outside the city. Those who lost their lives because they could not go there at the moment are buried in their home gardens or in mass graves. This is the new fear of Kruti. There is no grave like losing a loved one and crying.
Noting that a convoy carrying 100 tons of aid from the state president would arrive in the city today, this amount is 300 grams per person and that is not enough, Kruti said: “People are praying for the caravan to reach the city, thinking that these buses could take them away despite everything. I’m scared to see footage of thousands of people leaving. It will even take a few weeks to evacuate one-third of the city. And, for thousands, the question is whether they can go. Many have lost their homes and other assets and have nowhere to go. ”
After the war in 2014, buildings in the city center were restored, new roads were built, hospitals were renovated, and much larger festivities began. A new page opened in the history of the city. Kruuti last visited in October 2021 and saw a seagull in the port of Mariupol, his modern, clean city. He told his friends in Poland that the trolleybus took people to the beach and that the sea water was warm.
Although it is a heartbreaking landscape today, Kruti’s biggest dream is to see Mariupol again in that kingdom. He planned to go down to the beach with her in May to see his mother. He still hopes it can be true.