When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

“Everything Was Blown Away” — In Dnipro, Voices Of The Survivors

A Ukrainian reporter on the scene of one of the worst attacks on civilians since Russia's invasion began.

Photo of rescuer workers taking away a corpse in Dnipro

The victims of Dnipro

Viktoria Roshchyna/Ukrainska Pravda
Victoria Roshchyna

DNIPRO — I met Oleg in one of the hospitals in Dnipro. His body was covered with wounds and scratches.

Oleg was with his wife in their apartment in a high-rise building in this central Ukrainian city on what seemed like an ordinary weekend. Then a Russian missile hit — and they miraculously survived, among the 75 wounded. As of Monday morning, 40 of their neighbors are confirmed dead, and at least 35 still missing.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Oleg tries to piece together the moment of the strike:

"There was a long explosion. Everything was blown away," he recalls. It is still difficult for him to speak and keep his eyes open for any extended time, because of burns and wounds from the glass.

"We could not leave the apartment by ourselves because the door collapsed. Rescuers got us through the window of the 4th floor. I am glad that I am alive and that my wife is fine. I thank our rescuers, medics, and the Armed Forces. I hope everything will be fine," Oleg says on Sunday, still apparently under shock.

Hell in front of my eyes

A doctor at the Dnipro hospital recalls the moments after the first reports came in: "Three people died here in the first hour after the attack; eight are in the intensive care unit," he says.

"Surgeons removed stones, pieces of concrete, and metal fragments from the wounds of the head, chest, abdomen, and limbs. We transfused more than 20 liters of blood."

I flew across the room, and that's it.

The head and hands of Natalia are scratched and bandaged. She too was in her apartment unit Saturday afternoon when the missile hit. Her injuries did not require she stayed in the hospital, and I met her as she waited in line to write a statement to the police about the Russian crime.

"I was standing in the kitchen. And at that moment - "bang," and everything just flew. I did not hear an explosion or anything. I just suddenly flew across the room, and that's it. Frames, glass - everything fell on me,” she recalled. “My hand was bleeding; my head was bleeding. I ran out, and everything was lying there - concrete, doors, partitions. I do not know how I got through with my dog. I live on the ninth floor. I ran out and shouted "Help!" to the rescuers."

While coming down from the ninth floor, Natalia heard people screaming and moaning.

"As long as I live, I will remember them,” she said. “Today I could not close my eyes for a single second... I'm lying here, and I see this hell in front of my eyes! Damn those creatures. I feel nothing but hatred and pain."

Photo of Searching through the rubble of the Dnipro apartment

Searching through the rubble of the Dnipro apartment

Viktoria Roshchyna/Ukrainska Pravda

Everything collapsed

Yulia lived on the second floor. "When the doors, windows, clouds of smoke were flying... What did we do? Shock, and then we started running out - barefoot, naked," she recalled.

"When we ran out, everything collapsed. We barely managed to break through."

Also waiting to give a statement to authorities, Yulia admits that she still does not understand what happened. "In one moment, we lost everything..." - she sighs bitterly.

Another woman survived all night under the rubble. Rescuers stopped several times to locate the sound of her voice and coordinate actions. She was taken to the hospital immediately.

"She can make sounds," the doctors explained. “But she does not hear us.”

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest