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Ukraine: the cry of Nastya, 2, saves thanks to a bed of blankets in the Mariupol theater


It is enough to listen to the disconsolate crying and desperate cries of Nastya, a two-year-old girl who survived the bombing of the Mariupol theater thanks to the blankets of a bed, in which she rested completely wrapped to shelter from the cold, to understand without any other need the tragedy of the victims, the desperation of war and its survivors. During the interview with her mother, Vktoriia Dubovitskaya, who fled on March 16 from Mariupol to Lviv with little Nastya and her six-year-old brother Artyom, when Vktoriia began to remember and describe the explosion of the theater in which she had taken refuge with the his children, the Adnkronos had to interrupt the conversation. Mom’s memories fell on Nastya like intolerable bombs and rubble. The crying was heartfelt, the screams out of control. Then the Ukrainian volunteer who acted as interpreter on the phone, listening to the mother and the little girl, intervened and spoke with Nastya. She that she has calmed down, between sobs. And the woman’s testimony was then collected. The new life of Nastya, Artyom, Vktoriia begins in the Mariupol theater, “by a chance of fate. Like the war, which I learned about from my neighbor. We weren’t ready. Nobody was prepared, 90 percent of people did not expect this horror – she says – We did not have time to prepare a shelter, food supplies, water. My family and I lived in a small apartment, which no longer exists. The building had no basement, so during the bombing I hid the children in the bathroom which has no windows. Then we moved in with friends. There too we put the children to sleep in the bathroom until March 5, when my husband called us and told us to go to the theater, from which we would be evacuated. “” We arrived, there were at least a thousand people. But there was no evacuation ”. From this moment begins the new life of Vktoriia, a single mother with her children. “I sought refuge in the theater, it was impossible to enter the very full basement. The structure was packed with people also poured out in the corridors, in the dressing rooms, even on the stage. We settled in a corridor. To the ground. The cold was unbearable. “Food was scarce and was distributed to the children” except for one day when soldiers from the Azov battalion brought us something extra, “she recalls. No water to wash, just a tank of brown liquid used to drain in the bathroom. Meanwhile, little Nastya falls ill, a doctor diagnoses her with pneumonia and starts treatment with antibiotics. While a pity guard moves them from the corridor into a room on the second floor. “The walls were adjacent to the stage”, explains the woman. Three days of treatment for the baby and the explosion. Vktoriia loses all sense of time. “We were in the second floor room when a missile hit the stage of the theater – she remembers – The walls disintegrated, I was slammed on the other side of the room. I heard the voice of Artyom and his friend, but I didn’t hear Nastya ”. Wounded, Vktoriia begins to dig in the rubble, she asks for help. But around her she hears names, cries, sees people wandering around in shock, disoriented. Torn bodies, blood. “I realized that no one could help me. I started digging …. “. Then a little voice:” mom “.” My daughter was alive, “he tells Adnkronos. The woman digs where the sound seemed to come from and finds the little girl. to the bed of blankets in which she was wrapped to protect herself from the cold. “We ran away, because we were expecting more bombings. My son’s friend was with us. I looked everywhere for his parents, without finding them. So I left him with a guard “. On the run in search of shelter,” until my husband found us in a school and a woman with her car drove us to Zaporizhizhia. She had come to retrieve her son. We were lucky, ”she comments. From there the family went to Lviv. “We are looking for a place to stay nearby. Our house and my mother-in-law’s are completely destroyed. We are waiting for my husband to leave the country to move to Poland, work, put aside what we need to return and rebuild our home, ”she says. And how are the children now? “Nastya is healed. The brother has a form of malnutrition, the doctor has prescribed a restorative treatment …. But she – she concludes – They are afraid of the sirens …. “(By Roberta Lanzara)


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