Ukraine Battle: ‘I Need To Consider In A Miracle,’ Says Mom Of One Of 1000’s Of Lacking Folks


The final time Tetiana Popovych spoke to her son was on the primary of March.

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Vlad Popovych, 29, had been sheltering within the basement of a faculty in his village simply outdoors Kyiv as Russian forces superior.

“He advised me, ‘Mum don’t come right here. One thing terrible is beginning. This isn’t like within the motion pictures. It is a horrible struggle,’” Tetiana recalled.

The next day he tried to flee however was shot and wounded – after which vanished, leaving his household frantic with fear.

They’re considered one of 1000’s of households torn aside by Russia’s struggle, with family members feared buried within the rubble of buildings, injured and unable to make contact and even forcibly moved by Russian troopers to Russia, Belarus or occupied territory in japanese Ukraine.

Ukraine’s inside ministry stated the police have acquired greater than 7,000 experiences of lacking individuals since Russia’s invasion began. Solely about half have been situated.

Tetiana, 52, spends her days trying to find her son, clinging to the hope her solely youngster continues to be alive.

“It’s the most tough factor,” she stated, talking within the city of Bucha, the place she lives together with her mom. It’s a mile away from the village of Blystavytsya the place her son had been staying together with his father – Tetiana’s ex-husband – and stepmother.

“If solely I had some thread of details about what occurred to him. I by no means thought that I would wish to know whether or not my son is alive or lifeless,” she stated.

Tetiana Popovych has not spoken to her lacking son because the starting of March

Vlad tried to flee from his village together with his stepmother Polina Chervakova, 47, of their minibus on 2 March, Tetiana defined.

As they reached a bridge, nonetheless, they got here below hearth from Russian troopers.

The pair jumped out of their car and tried to flee down a grassy path however Polina was shot within the jaw. She advised Vlad she may hold going, however then he was shot within the leg. Polina turned to return and assist him however she was shot once more by the shoulder.

She collapsed, unconscious. When Polina got here spherical, Vlad was nowhere to be seen.

“She tried to seek for him nevertheless it was darkish… She was in shock,” Tetiana stated.

Vlad Popovych was shot and wounded whereas attempting to flee from Russian troopers

Gravely wounded, Polina knocked on a close-by home. Russian troopers have been inside and advised her to go away. She survived for a number of days within the freezing chilly earlier than lastly making it again to the household residence and her husband.

“She ate snow and drank water from a puddle [to survive],” Tetiana stated.

By that time, Russian forces had taken management of the realm.

Tetiana had been residing in a distinct a part of the nation on the time so couldn’t seek for her son till the top of March when the Russian army have been lastly overwhelmed again.

From that time, she has accomplished nothing however search for Vlad, sticking up posters of him, together with her cell phone quantity, outdoors buildings and on fences within the native space.

She is bound he’s alive. “I’ve no different consideration,” Tetiana stated.

“I’m considering he’s in captivity or has misplaced his reminiscence. Perhaps he’s someplace in a hospital as a result of now we now have a really huge confusion with paperwork as a result of the [Russian soldiers] destroyed all lists and notes of who was injured,” she stated.

Anna Kotlyarova together with her daughter Inga Levko and son-in-law Andrii Geleta

One other mom is enduring the same agony.

Anna Kotlyarova, who lives in Kyiv, has not heard from her daughter, Inga Levko, and her daughter’s husband, Andrii Geleta, since an change of textual content messages on 4 March.

The couple had been renovating their new residence within the village of Kolonschyna, simply outdoors the capital, and had been residing with a neighbour subsequent door when Russian forces rampaged by the realm.

The neighbour’s home was obliterated, whereas the couple’s residence continues to be standing, however was briefly taken over by Russian troopers till they pulled again on the finish of March.

“On 7 April after we first arrived right here with the police and legal investigators they didn’t discover our bodies,” Anna stated, standing outdoors the couple’s residence and by the ruins of the neighbour’s home. “They discovered solely burnt telephones and possibly some bones of animals.”

Anna has not heard from Inga and Andrii since 4 March

She too nonetheless hopes that her daughter and husband are alive.

“You already know… I’m telling myself that she is. I wish to imagine in a miracle.”

Requested what she missed most about her daughter, Anna stated: “We’re inseparable components of one another… We have been on the identical wavelength. I don’t know… It appears like shedding half of your self and even shedding all of your self.”

Anna can even by no means quit till she finds solutions.

“I’m attempting to maintain being sturdy,” she stated. “If one thing occurs to me, no person will likely be trying to find them.”


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