Life became suffering. Illustrated stories from the siege of Mariupol.

Written by on October 11, 2022

A home is standing. Then, in a single blast, it’s gone.

With no water to drink, folks accumulate trickles from rain gutters.

A knock on the door. Russian troopers ask each other, “Ought to we shoot him?”

It was a traditional day in Mariupol when the primary shells started to fall in late February. Individuals have been hurrying about their enterprise. Inside per week, Russian troops had surrounded the town. Water was the primary to go, then electrical energy and cell service. When heating was minimize off, chilly and terror gripped those that remained.

Life grew to become struggling.

USA TODAY interviewed 4 survivors from Mariupol, who shared their expertise by interviews.

Of the 4, one offered in depth photographic proof of the struggling there. Others stated that they had deleted the contents of their telephones as they escaped, in an effort to keep away from detection.

The Ukrainians’ final names have been withheld at their request to guard relations and neighbors who should be in Mariupol. The scenes listed here are primarily based on their offered photographs, their recollections, and impartial analysis.

However the tales, translated from their native language, are retold in their very own phrases.

In a single basement, folks huddle collectively, unable to sleep – generally from the frigid temperatures, generally as a result of they’re ravenous. In one other, youngsters start to die of thirst.

The fortunate ones, these in a position to depart, drive previous the our bodies on the bottom, previous shattered lives and shuttered homes. A Russian soldier provides a chocolate bar to individuals who don’t have anything left, who left every thing behind.

And because the springtime solar arrives and the bottom begins to thaw, neighbors who stayed begin to bury their lifeless.

USA TODAY graphic


“In some unspecified time in the future in time, there was nothing. Night got here, evening fell. Town was fully darkish. There was no mild to be seen wherever. The one factor seen was one thing burning within the distance, penalties from the daytime shelling.” Read more


“He lay there to the final second. They may not bury him, as a result of there have been frosts, the earth was frozen. And there have been an increasing number of and extra corpses with day by day. And these folks simply run round about their enterprise after which the shell arrived. And that is it – there isn’t any individual anymore.” Read more


“I really feel sorry for my goddaughter as a result of she was a very good lady. I didn’t see the toddler, she was not responsible of something in any respect, a baby angel. Two years outdated. It’s such a horrible loss of life for a kid – to die from a scarcity of water.” Read more


“It is all mendacity our bodies, mendacity our bodies, mendacity our bodies. So I am unable to describe it, truthfully, it was a shock. You simply stroll. We walked, walked, walked down the road they usually all lay down. Glass, blood and males mendacity.” Read more

By Karina Zaiets, Ariana Torrey, Veronica Bravo, Katelyn Ferral and Janie Haseman.

10:06 am UTC Oct. 11, 2022

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1:10 pm UTC Oct. 11, 2022

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