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Injured Children Stunned by Putin’s Ukraine War

CHERNIHIV — During the long, dark and icy days of winter, 7th grader Bogdan Parasyuk says he dreamed of his youth, when he could finally ride a bike and race along the streets with his friends. the center of the home city. Chernihiv is a charming European city full of charming historic architecture, universities, parks and trendy cafes. At least, that was a few weeks ago.

Russia’s war on his country turned the spring of Bogdan’s dreams into the worst time of his life. The 13-year-old’s war began when Russian troops began attacking Chernihiv on February 25. Air strikes and rockets since then have killed hundreds of people, including 54 children, according to a total Ukrainian prosecutor. The attacks hit number 18 and number 21 schools, a cardiology clinic, multiple apartment complexes, a factory and dozens of private homes across the city. Hospitals with hundreds of sick adults and children were damaged. Missiles and bombs destroyed his favorite theater. And then one of the air strikes hit Bogdan. He suffered injuries to his legs, arms and face. His father was killed.

Bogdan lifted the edge of the blanket and showed his feet covered in shrapnel wounds. Sitting on a hospital bed with his injured legs stretched out in front of him, Bogdan struggled to get together on the afternoon of March 16, when he and his father were on their way to charge their mobile phones at a friend’s house. After four weeks of intensive treatment, Bogdan was still unable to walk; His injured knee cannot be bent. Last week, Bogdan learned that his father, Vadim, had passed away.

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Bogdan Parasyuk wishes he could give Putin a piece of his mind.

Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast

Bogdan’s bruised face had a deep sadness that made him look old. But he didn’t cry. “I blame Russian President Putin for this war,” he told The Daily Beast in an interview. He even joked that if he ever met the President of Russia, he would “throw a curse at Putin as heavy as a three-story building”.

Ukrainian children have been among the hardest hit since the first battle between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces began in eastern Ukraine in 2014. Russia’s senseless war has leaving thousands of Ukrainian children shaken, orphaned, injured and killed. Ukrainian authorities reported that 205 children were killed in the first 53 days of the war. Many others were seriously injured.

Dmytro Oseledko is a bit older but – at the age of 21 – he is still living at home with his family when he started his job as a computer programmer. They were hiding, along with a 12-year-old neighbor, in their bathroom in Mariupol when a Russian jet began firing at their home on Otkrytaya Avenue last month.

Oseledko remembers seeing a glint of light in the small bathroom window just before he turned off the light. When he arrived, he could hear his young neighbor Sonya Karachevtseva shouting: “Help!”

He could only use his right hand, dig himself out of the rubble and crawl towards the voice. “I realized I had no legs, that I only had a few minutes to live. My mother had no trace left, she was buried in the rubble. I could barely see from under the dust covering my face: Sonya’s hip was so badly injured, it seemed to have doubled in size due to internal bleeding,” Oseledko told The Daily Beast in one Interview at Medical Plaza in Dnipro.

Two neighbors saved their lives and took them to a local hospital.

Oseledko’s uncle was eventually able to evacuate him from Mariupol, the site of some of the heaviest bombing of the war. The family has been unable to contact Sonya since they left.

Oseledko – who wants to be a narrative designer for a computer game – has some sympathy for the Russian soldiers of his age around him who are destroying his city.

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Dmytro Oseledko was shot in his home in Mariupol.

Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast

“I’m sure some of them played computer games STAFF– My city of Mariupol now looks like the Pripyat area depicted in the game,” said Oseledko. “In their heads, the Russians may be playing a game, killing some cartoon enemies but this is not a game, it is my best friend, my mother, who they killed. , mine and Sonia’s legs that they destroyed.”

Back in Chernihiv, Ksenia Kuzyura, a teacher of Ukrainian and foreign literature at school number 21, said that her eighth grader, Gleb Zheldak, died in one of the bombings. “A Russian bomb fell on the right wing of our school on March 3 when all of my 10-year-olds walked out to lunch,” Kuzyura told The Daily Beast as she struggled to stop crying.

Kuzyura’s stepdaughter, Tatiana, was wounded that day, shrapnel tore into her cheek and a finger. “The horror of war came upon our children, to our school and our home, I cannot find words to express my feelings, we are all still in shock,” the teacher said. .

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Teacher Ksenia Kuzyura’s daughter, Tatiana, was injured when a bomb hit her school. This photo has been edited to blur the blood.

Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast

There were more than two hundred children at Chernihiv Children’s Hospital when the war began in February, including 11 in the cancer ward. The evacuation lasted for weeks: parents were horrified by the bombings, the roads were mined, the bridges were blown up. “None of us could have imagined that Russia would attack Chernihiv, many of us here have relatives and friends in Russia. This is a terrible war, where a brother is killing a brother,” chief doctor Zoya Pushkar, 52, told The Daily Beast. The hospital managed to evacuate most of the patients, but 15 children are still being treated including Bogdan Parasyuk. And more and more patients are being admitted as the war continues to take its toll. The hospital is in urgent need of supplies including diapers and hygiene products, as well as ventilators to help the newborns.

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Hospitals were not immune to the onslaught of Russia.

Anna Nemtsova / The Daily Beast

Before the war broke out, Zosimenko told The Daily Beast about the plan to evacuate children with cancer from the hospital. But once it started, there were unexpected challenges. “We made a list of 15 children to evacuate but some of the children were so sick, the doctors told us the trip could kill them, so we had to find a way to help them,” said Zosimenko. told The Daily Beast. “This war is far from over. We expect new attacks in a week or two,” said Zosimenko. “The Russians won’t stop until they get the win.”

Bogdan is thinking about his own future. He hopes to recover soon and move with his mother to Austria. “I don’t blame Russian children, they can be brainwashed, saying we bombed ourselves,” he said.

He explained that now he is hoping for an iPad to play his favorite computer games. With a stern expression, he said, “I want peace too.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/wounded-kids-stunned-by-putins-war-on-ukraine?source=articles&via=rss Injured Children Stunned by Putin’s Ukraine War

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