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Stories of survivors: A surgeon from Mariupol spoke about how he left the city

Mikhail Pasichny worked as a surgeon in a military hospital in Mariupol until March 16. After the hospital began to be targeted with fire, Mikhail and his wife were forced to leave the city. He told us about the destruction in the city, about volunteering in hospitals and about the evacuation…

“At one of the russian checkpoints, we were checked by a policeman who went over to the side of the russians. Unfortunately, some in the Donbas were still waiting for Russia to come. We removed all applications from phones, as well as photos and videos. We were warned that this was not safe during checks. We tried not to communicate in Ukrainian language... We were lucky, we passed.

Between Vasilyevka and Kamenskoye, a mined field had to be crossed. The entire column of cars stopped when they saw a civilian car blown up a day and a half before our passage. That's what the locals told us. I walked down the narrow lane for cars. After walking around for a bit, I decided to go. Three cars we went ahead. What happiness it was to meet the Ukrainian defenders and understand that everything dangerous is behind - we are on Ukrainian land. I do not want anyone to go through the hell that befell all the inhabitants of Mariupol. Mariupol today is a completely destroyed city, I have no idea who can rebuild and restore it.

He is now associated with grief, with thousands of deaths. A real genocide took place there - the Russians are not fighting the military, first they destroyed the infrastructure, and then the people. This is true fascism - hatred and destruction of another nation. We read about concentration camps in history books. This is the same - the massacre of civilians. I had no idea that this could happen in the 21st century.

I am in great pain. My 84-year-old mother, my sister, who is caring for her, remained there. I can't even imagine how they survive. Destroyed hometown, my home, my life. My wife and I had our own business in Mariupol, doing what we love. And now? Where to go? Where to look for support? We have been traveling around Ukraine for a week now with thoughts of what to do next ... And every person who left his one city, lost his home and job, has his own pain, his own tragedy.

Once I witnessed how a tank hit a neighboring building - 30 meters from mine. At the level of the ninth floor, a hole up to one and a half meters in diameter was formed, windows flew out, cracks went to the roof ... Poor people ... Broken power lines, burned cars, piles of fragments of houses could be seen around the city.

An entire city has been destroyed. In general, the last ten days of my stay in Mariupol was painful to look at: wires hung from tree trunks or lay on the roads, everywhere - broken glass and stones, black to the roof of the house, smog and smoke in the air.

Once a colleague and I were driving to my house - I wanted to see my wife. At the corner of Filipp Orlik and Stroiteley streets, we ran into a Russian checkpoint - an armored personnel carrier stood a hundred meters away. He turned the muzzle on my car, there were three submachine gunners nearby. We slowed down, both raised our hands, the invaders waved us to disappear in the direction from which we had come. And at that moment a mine flew about twenty meters from the car.

Thank God it didn't hurt anything. We returned to Shevchenko Boulevard and saw an APC there too. We decided to return to the hospital, it was too dangerous to go further. Then I learned that there was a breakthrough in the protection of the Ukrainian military. There was a battle, and the Russian column was driven out of that territory. The next day I went to my wife. She worked as a volunteer in hospitals where the wounded were brought. Mostly I went to the oncology hospital (On Prospekt Mira, house 80). I spent the night in my apartment. Despite the frost on the street, she left the windows half open: in the event of an explosion, it is less likely that the glass will be damaged. If the shelling was strong, she went out into the corridor. Prior to departure, our house was not damaged, we were lucky..."

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