Extensive War Crimes in Eastern Ukraine. The Voices of the Innocent: “We Haven’t Got Anywhere to Run…”

Lana Zoricheva

Today, not only the Russian mass media has raised the issue of the investigation of war crimes in Ukraine, but delegates of European media as well. Journalistic investigation led me to the Russian refugee camp, located not far from the place of military events.

There is another world, though the planet is the same — the Earth. Water, food, light, absence of firing, a manifestation of humanity in everyday life allow people to feel safe again and with gratitude to accept the help and care in the neighboring state. All that they have lost overnight, continuing to remain citizens of Ukraine.

Before me there are those, who saw the war in the XXI century with their own eyes. I’m listening to them and internally I shudder at the thought that all this is experienced by the people whom 23 years ago we were unified with.

– For three days the relatives who remained in Lugansk haven’t slept. Happily you can still sleep at night as the sleep is impossible. Now there is a tank battle and a grenade attack. My mother called, crying.

Correspondent: Tell me, please, if the civilians tried to hang out any identification marks — the red cross flag or any flags so that they were not being bombed or shot.

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– It`s useless! We tried it many times. The grandfather took a white flag when he went with children. They were all shot. They do not respond to any signs. The most terrible thing for those whose homes are near the mines is that they are destroyed. In settlements and in the city there are tipper-offs who orient mercenaries of the Kiev junta to bomb certain objects — shops, mines, hospitals. Snitches deliberately spread the rumors that the Chechens are located elsewhere. Since June 16, at 8 pm there have been bombed a military sports camp “Forest Dawns”, where there were only two watchmen and a granddaughter of one of the guards. I saw it with my own eyes how the aircraft dropped cluster bombs.

Correspondent: How did the armistice announced by Poroshenko go? Did the representatives of the National Guard suggest to hand over the weapon?

– There was armistice those days, they were shooting us as well. The weapon was never suggested to be handed over. Informants were waiting at places for the representatives of the National Guard and when they arrived, they only pointed the finger at those who had a different opinion and who participated in the defense of the territory. At schools at the Farewell Bell the children of such informers threatened our children: “I`ll shoot you and I`ll kill you”. It was the feeling that this was a zombie uttering. In the village Novoukrainka, of Luhansk region my acquaintances were talking in the company of neighbors and one of them said that they are leaving to Russia with the family the following morning. At night they were found dead. Only a 5-year-old child got to the intensive care, but I don’t know at all, whether he survived. After canceling the truce the bombing became more fierce. In the village Makarovo the locals asked the volunteers to remove a checkpoint to pass up. As soon as militants departed, the civilians were opened fire at. They rushed back crying “militants, help.” They were fleeing with children. But the soldiers of the National Guard were shooting them ruthlessly. The houses of my relatives from the settlement were completely destroyed. Now, being here, I don’t know what happened to my house at all.

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