My name is Iryna. I am a general practitioner and I spent more than 2 weeks in the occupied Bucha. As I was the only doctor in the vicinity at the time, my house, practically, turned into a make-shift hospital.
On Feb.27, Ukrainian Army brought a convoy of Russian tanks to a halt at Vokzalna St. in Bucha to prevent it from approaching Irpin and then Kyiv. In a few days Bucha was occupied by Russia. There was a panic among people. Many tried to flee and were shot by invaders who just didn’t care, although many cars had a CHILDREN sign displayed.
People soon found out about me as the only doctor left and started to pay visits with their health problems. I collected a bag of the staple medications. Everything else I passed via my friends to the Ukrainian Army believing they needed it more. Who knew then that we would need bandages, pain killers, antibiotics too… How wrong we were.
Just a few days passed when I got a first call from my neighbours who had two wounded. A car with children was shelled when they crossed a Russian checkpoint to flee Bucha. They managed to drive into our street to save their lives. The woman had a bullet in her ankle, and her child in her thigh.
Little girl couldn’t stop crying and I had to give her some painkillers and put on a bandage.
But I didn’t have the necessary drug for the child, so I ran to neighbours trying to find what I needed. When I came back, they had already left trying to reach Kyiv by foot. I know nothing of what had happened to them afterwards…
In a couple of days I had a pregnant woman. She was in her 40th week. At an institute I was dreaming of becoming a gynaecologist, but I had no practical skills whatsoever. ‘Whatever. We’ll get the baby delivered’, I said trying to radiate confidence.
At 4 in the morning on Mar. 8, her waters broke. At that moment, we had no electricity, no gas, no heat, no water in the house. I had to do everything with candles lit. We fetched some water, but it was cold and we had no means to heat it up. As if the infant knew it, she was born clean and neat. We just used a towel to dry her and then wrapped her up. She was named Alice.
The next day we decided to try and leave the town. We took a car. My husband, I, four children, including a girl from my neighbours, a dog and a cat. We were told to carry white ribbons on our hands and place a CHILDREN sign on our car. It was a total nightmare. All those dead bodies the world would see later, they were right there then.
We had to pass several Russian checkpoints. We deleted all stuff from our smartphones. If they find a photo or something they would certainly shoot us immediately. Those 40 km that took us 8 hours to get seemed like an eternity. We were praying all the time.
As I was told, on Mar. 13 Russian turned our house into their HQs. What a relief we managed to leave before they did.
On Mar. 31, the Russians withdrew and Bucha was liberated.
In a matter of days, the world finally saw those atrocities and war crimes they left behind.
THIS IS A SURVIVAL STORY. BUT THOUSANDS OF UKRAINIANS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TELL THEIR STORIES — RUSSIANS KILLED THEM. SPREAD THE TRUTH. HELP US BRING RUSSIA TO JUSTICE FOR WAR CRIMES.
*All stories are real and were taken from interviews, stories, recordings and personal blogs.
Original story in UA is here.