8-Year-Old's Diary Narrates Horrors Of Russian Invasion In Mariupol

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Mariupol has been largely destroyed by weeks of Russian bombardment
Mariupol has been largely destroyed by weeks of Russian bombardment

An eight-year-old boy's diary entries that recount the horrors of the Russian attack on Mariupol have shed light on the trauma inflicted on innocent children in Ukraine. The entries were shared on social media by Mariupol photographer Yevgeny Sosnovsky, who is also the boy's relative. 

In the heart-touching account, the child writes how his  "the flesh was torn out" in the shelling. The boy also notes with pain that his "two dogs" and "grandmother Galya" have died, along with "beloved city Mariupol." The child, whose identity has not been revealed due to safety concerns, is still in Mariupol, Sosnovsky told Radio Svoboda, the Russian website of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Sosnovsky said the boy and his family were his relatives, and he had spent time with them since the start of the war. He confirmed the boy's account of his injury, which Sosnovsky said happened during another Russian strike on the Azovstal plant.

"The shells fired at Azovstal flew right above us, but sometimes they also fell on residential buildings. Grandmother is actually our neighbor. She and the boy were very friends. She died a natural death, although, of course, the war accelerated all this And the dogs - yes, one was cut by shrapnel right in the room during the shelling, and I later found the body of the second under the rubble," Sosnovsky told the news outlet. 

He also narrated the shelling of Azovstal on March 17, which injured his niece and her two children, including the 8-year-old boy. "While the boy had a huge wound on his back and arm, the girl suffered a cut on her head. Their mother too was injured in her leg but was in such shock that she didn't even know she was bleeding. I don't know how she led two children under fire towards us, but she did it," Sosnovsky added.

However, the family was forced to move to the basement of another building after Chechen soldiers stormed into their homes. 

It was in this basement that the boy wrote the diary. However, Sosnovsky said the boy went through a lot of pain each time the bandages were changed. "Each removal of these bandages was a terrible pain for the boy and for his mother. She endured, but it was very difficult for the child to endure, he cried, screamed," he added.

Thankfully, his wounds healed soon, and he is back to normal. His mother can walk again too. 

Though Sosnovsky was part of the civilians who were evacuated, the boy's mother refused to leave. "She is worried that in Ukraine she will not be able to provide for herself and her children financially, to rent an apartment, to dress them. And in Mariupol, according to her, she at least had a half-destroyed house left," he added.




Photo: AFP / STRINGER

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