“When the Russians came, they stole all the food from shops and houses”: residents of Balakleya spoke about the occupation they experienced

The Ukrainians separately mentioned military personnel from Buryatia, who took out everything that could be taken out of the local houses.

Residents of Balakleya told how they lived under Russian occupation \ photo from UNIAN
Residents of Balakleya told how they lived under Russian occupation \ photo from UNIAN

When the Russians arrived, they stole all the food from shops and homes, said residents of the de-occupied village of Verbovka, located a few kilometers from  Balakleya in the Kharkiv region.

Hromadske journalists found out how the six months of Russian occupation in the village passed .

“We had a very hard life,” shared 62-year-old Olga. “Everyone who was here worked under bullets in the gardens. We were even told that we have kamikaze women: they shoot at them, and they stand in the gardens. To have a potato and not die of hunger.VIDEO OF THE DAYplay video

The situation was aggravated by the fact that pensioners did not receive pensions for half a year and the garden for many was the only source of food. “When the Russians came, they stole all the food from the shops and houses where they climbed. And they killed all the animals from the farm,” said Olga Panchenko, a local resident.

“We slept in basements for six months, without undressing, in sweaters and jackets, because they were arriving. It was not life, but torment,” complained 70-year-old Nadezhda.

As the newspaper writes, the locals hardly talk about the Russian military – some with irritation, and some with tears. “We came here, we ask them: “What have you forgotten here?” And they say: “Putin promised us a house and two slaves each.” If only his mother drowned him in a font, Putin, something is going on with his head. , – said 72-year-old Nadezhda.

Natalya, 70, recalls that she first met Russian soldiers when they came to her house, certain that weapons were hidden there. The woman said that the military was very surprised by the conditions in which the villagers live: “They asked us:“ Is this a city? .

Residents of Verbovka also spoke about how the Russian military detained people. According to 67-year-old Vasily, the military put a bag over his head and took him away in an unknown direction. They threatened to kill him, accusing him of helping the UAF. Vasily showed reporters the scar from the rope with which his hands were tied.

In Balakleya itself, the situation was similar – lack of food, detentions, looting. Residents of the city noted that they managed to survive the occupation thanks to local farmers.

“The humanitarian service was very poor. Three or four cans of canned food in three weeks. A kilogram of three kinds of cereals. Half a loaf of bread a week. That’s what we got. There was no money to buy, because there was nowhere to earn money. – two or three times higher than before the war. I believe that my friends and I survived thanks to milk, which was very cheap, and sometimes distributed free of charge by local farmers, “said local resident Oleg.

58-year-old Natalya noted that the last time Russians gave out a pack of pasta, a can of condensed milk, a can of mackerel and stew for one person. “And then they also said that we eat very richly,” she complained.

Looting in Balakliya, according to local residents, was widespread. Marina said that the Russians looted all the shops. She specifically mentioned servicemen from Buryatia, who, she claims, took out of the houses everything that could be taken out. Elena, head teacher of a school in the village of Verbovka, told the same story. According to her, cars were taken away from the residents, and the Russians took out computer equipment and even linoleum from the school building. Nadezhda said that the Russian military “were angry” and also specifically mentioned the soldiers from Buryatia, who “went into houses and pulled out everything they could.”

According to residents of Balakleya, Russians tortured detainees in one of the city’s police stations. “Some were released, and some we have not seen since then,” Elena said. Sergey Bolvinov, head of the Kharkiv Region Police Investigation Department, added: “Rashists could capture any person at any time and put them in jail. It’s almost like Auschwitz, organized by Rashists in this place.”

Artyom, a resident of Balakliya, who spent more than 40 days in captivity, told reporters about the conditions of detention of the detainees: “They were fed twice a day. Porridge without salt. that the remaining soup will be thrown at the camera: a plate or two. They let three spoons in a circle at everyone, that’s all. The detainees were taken to the toilet twice a day – in the morning and in the evening.

Hromadske writes that in the police station, people were beaten and tortured with electric shocks, they were mocked by shooting at the wall above their heads. “We have information, accurately confirmed, about one civilian who was killed here. In the courtyard he was handed over to the ritual service and taken away. He was buried in the cemetery,” Sergey Bolvinov said.

As the Russians retreated from Balakliya, they left the people locked up in the police station. They had to break a window through which one of the detainees got out. Then he managed to open the rest of the cells. 

As UNIAN reported earlier,  Balakliya  became the first city from which a large counteroffensive of the Ukrainian Defense Forces began in the Kharkiv region. President Volodymyr Zelensky officially announced the release of  Balakleya  on September 8.

(C)UNIAN 2022

One comment

  1. In every place the cockroaches came, they brought death, violence, fear, hunger, pain and theft. I so hope that their defeat will come soon, be complete and very painful.

    Liked by 3 people

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