Alina from

Gateway to Kyiv

 According to Iryna Venediktova, Prosecutor General of Ukraine and Prosecutor office of Kyiv Oblast, the Russian army used air-dropped bombs and multiple rocket launchers. They fired “at night, when the maximum number of people would be at home.”

Most of the buildings in the town were destroyed, including almost all its main street. Oleksiy Reznikov, Minister of Defence, said many residents were buried alive by airstrikes and lay dying for up to a week.  Those who went to help them were shot by Russian soldiers. 

By the time the Russian army withdrew in early April, only a few hundred residents remained in this town, with roughly 90% of residents having fled the area.  An unknown number of people lay dead in the rubble.   

In November, a new graffiti of a man being flipped in judo by a much smaller child was seen in Borodyanka.  It is attributed to the renowned graffiti artist Banksy, which alludes to the biblical story of David and Goliath, the unlikely triumph of the underdog. 

We met Alina (name changed) in one of the residential buildings. The 46-year-old showed us her destroyed apartment in a bombed, half-ruined home. Except for the kitchen, installed a few days before the missile strike, practically everything is destroyed.  

Alina tells us, “When my relatives in Bucha were buried, their cell phones were still working. They called us and said, “Look for our bodies on the second floor, so at least you can give us a dignified burial.”   

After our encounter, Alina sets off for her father’s funeral. Her path takes her past the building everyone calls the “House of Death.” There was no alarm when the bomb hit the high-rise. None of the more than 200 residents, including many children and teenagers, could be saved. The death was too sudden. Their home has now become their cemetery. The charred corpses still lie inside. Children play in front of the house. It is a sunny day. Still, it felt cold inside.  

The city would like to leave the ruin standing as a monument, a reminder of the terrible time of the war, Alina and many others wish it would be torn down. “We don’t want to be reminded of this terrible war every day. We used to be known here in Borodyanka for the mild summer. People came to us to celebrate life. Today we are the city of death.”   

GAiN will continue to send much needed aid to Ukrainians who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods. If you would like to help people like Alina, click on the link below.  Together we can reveal hope and restore lives.