Bukvy continues to document the grim stories of grief and terror emerging after the Russians seized Mariupol.

Kovalenko Yevhen Martynovych (25.10.1942-15.05.2022). Died in a Dontesk hospital for unknown reasons.

Oksana – the daughter of Yevhen – shared with us the details of her father’s loss and living in the occupied city.

Yevhen Martynovych was born in Mariupol, worked in ‘Azovstal’. With his wife he lived on the left bank of the city. It was this part of the city most shelled at the start of the full-scale Russian invasion.

‘I called my parents on February, 24 to tell them about the war outbreak. They didn’t take the news seriously, hoping the events would follow the pattern of 2015. They believed there would be some shelling which would end soon.  But later the the connection was lost, I was scared to go and check on them as missile strikes didn’t stop. At last, I managed to get through to them and suggested packing personal belongings, documents and going to us. My father-in-law was going to give them a lift, but my father, who seemed to be willing to go, at the very last moment refused to do it chosing to stay at home’.

Oksana with her family and mother were hiding at her relatives’ place near ‘Azovstal’, she had no phone connection with her father. On March, 17 a Russian plane shelled their neighborhood. The missile strike wounded Oksana and killed her father-in-law. who was later buried in the garden.

The family found a new shelter near the central bus station, where 70 civilians found their refuge. According to Oksana, in late March men with white armbands came to the shelter and made them ‘evacuate’.

‘We went out and saw dead bodies and their scattered parts, which were being gathered in one bag. All people were taken to ‘Metro’, from which there were only two possible directions – to Krasnodar or Donetsk. We were incredibly lucky to get on the bus that took us to already occupied Berdiansk’.

Oksana says that while staying in Berdiansk, she was trying to find volunteers who would agree to check on her father.  Found at home by locals, Yevhen asked his daughter about the money to buy some food.  Oksana’s mother returned to Mariupol to see the 80-year-old starving man with broken ribs. Being seriously injured, Yevhen Martynovych was refused any medical help in Mariupol hospitals, presumably, because of the lack of medicines and medical staff. Afterwards, he was taken to one of Donetsk hospitals.

‘My father called to tell me that he was to be operated. But later my brother sent me a nurse’s notice: ‘We are looking for Kovalenko Yevhen Martynovych relatives. His body is in Donetsk morgue’. We haven’t been informed about the cause of his death. Though, shortly before his death he called my mother to share the details of him not being fed in hospital.  He might have died while being operated on. Morgues are full in Donetsk, my dead father was lying for 5 days and it was impossible to recognize him…’

Pshnychnykov Yevhen Viktorovych (07.11.1979-24.03.2022). Killed by the mine explosion.

Yuliya told #Bukvy about the death of her brother.

Yevhen was 42, he worked at the carwash and lived close to ‘Azovstal’. They lost connection with him in the first days of the war.

‘Only in April, escaping the city we started the search of Yevhen – checking the lists of the dead and those receiving the humanitarian aid. In late May we could get in touch with his wife, who told us that on March 23-24 Yevhen had gone to bring some water and never come back’.

Later we were informed that Yevhen had been killed by the mine explosion in the neighborhood of Mariupol 17-23 district.

‘We were told that three civilians along with Yevhen were torn to pieces in the strike. Parts of their bodies were gathered into one bag… We have failed to obtain any more information about his death’.