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50 days in the basement

Testimony from horrible life in combat zone in East of Ukraine

N. S and His wife T. are from Mariupol Ukraine. It was dangerous a place during last 8 years because line of war was very close – just 20 km. 8 years ago, Ukrainian army pushed Russians back and they could live in the city.

But in the end of February 2022 war came again. Horrible time changed a peaceful life. There are no words describe all terrible things that occurred. N & T & their one son stayed 50 days in basement of maternity hospital with 127 other people. T. was nurse. During 50 days of war time 27 babies were born in basement.

It was difficult period for all people in Mariupol. Russian army constantly bombed city. Every couple minutes there was an explosion and this lasted throughout all the days. Artillery, missiles, planes shot at the civil buildings, hospitals, kindergartens, everywhere. Maternity hospital building was under bombing twice. There were no windows remaining. Just a basement! This was the reality of life.

People ate 2 times a day a little bit. It was no water, no electricity, no hitting. In the beginning KS and his friends drove to the supermarket storages and got food. Even though there was shooting and bombing in the city they were able to get a supply of food. In the beginning of the war, owners of supermarkets opened food storages for people. People have to be very careful with food because they needed to survive long time. They prepared food on fire outside of building even they heard bombs.
Situation with water was so very bad. People needed to go to the natural source and stay in line even it was shooting and bombing. Some people were killed, even couple doctors from maternity hospital were killed. Many dead people remained on the streets. Workers of hospital gave saline solution to drink when there was nothing to drink for ladies who was pregnant and people who was wounded
NS is over 60 years of age. He had heart surgery before. It was extremely hard for him to survive in that situation. There was some medicine available in the beginning but after month of such life the medication began to run out. Conditions in basement were not good. It was hard to sleep and bad small everywhere. After a period of time without medicine his legs began to swell and it was hard to breath.

Near the maternity hospital building were many big holes from bombs. Sometimes explosions were so strong and big iron doors in basement were open by a shock wave. Anywhere even people lived in such bad conditions they thought that their life in basement is better than life of people in neighbor hospital. In neighbor hospital many wounded people and children just lay on the floor. It was not enough mattresses for all. Doctors gave treatment just for people who had chance to survive. It was no enough medicine for everybody. When somebody dies workers put bodies in black bags.
One day Russian army pushed Ukrainian army from their part of city and they could to see Russians world. Russians searched, threatened and expelled. They even at times gave food just so they could pose for video cameras and make nice pictures for correspondents on TV.

N & T saw when Russian tank came to the neighbor building where civil people lived and started to shoot in building. After that one wounded boy went to the solders and ask for help for his mother and father and sister who was covered up in the building but they started to laugh. T helped this boy in their hospital but his family were killed in building.

In the end of April Russians told to all people in their basement to go away.

N hada car. It is old russian Lada. Many car were destroyed but his car survived. Just windows in the car were destroyed. They made the decision to go through green corridor in Ukraine. They saw many destroyed cars and people who died in their hard travel. But Lord was good for them and they survived. It was very hard to pass through block posts with Russians and Chechen solders but Lord gave them mercy.