The Russians ‘amused themselves’, destroying Izyum’s old buildings
Serhiy Dubinsky grew up in Izyum. From childhood he has suffered from problems with his health and was classified as disabled. He received a disability pension and worked as a guard at the sports complex. The money was enough to support him and his sick mother.
On 14 July 2022, at 11 am Serhiy was on his way home from the market. By that date, the city was already occupied by Russian forces, but they still continued to shell Izyum from time to time, wanting to destroy as much as they could.
A day earlier Serhiy’s father-in-law stepped on a butterfly mine. The Russian air force had scattered these anti-personnel weapons throughout the centre of town and neighbouring districts. Luckily, he survived with a foot wound.
It was dangerous to be out on the streets, indoors or even under shelter but Serhiy had to go and see his mother: she was waiting for him.
The first explosion rang out for a long while. Then it released the cluster munitions. Serhiy was knocked to the ground by the shock wave. He was unable to get up because some of the bomb fragments had wounded his left thigh.
Somehow, he found the strength to crawl to the nearest building on his elbows and right knee. People in the first stairwell helped as best they could: they gave him something to drink, they treated and bound his wound. Ten minutes after the shelling had ended Serhiy was picked up by the emergency services – even under occupation Ukrainian medics continued to save the lives of all who were wounded. There were 14 victims of the attack, it’s not known how many died.
“They were doing it on purpose,” says Serhiy, “shelling the schools, kindergartens and the pension fund building.”
“The Russian forces were doing it, although they had taken the city long before. They were amusing themselves, destroying the old buildings”.
In the central district hospital, the staff treated Serhiy’s wounds and took an x-ray. They gave him a wheelchair in which he finally reached his mother’s home. Neighbours with a car took him to the medical centre for further treatment. The wound healed but there was permanent damage to the nerve.
“When Izyum was occupied, we didn’t have the necessary medicines,” Serhiy explains. “They only began to give us proper medical treatment after the town was liberated; then the necessary equipment and medicine was brought to the hospital and specialist doctors returned.”
It is astonishing how many crimes against humanity were committed by the Russian invaders. Europe has not encountered such cruelty for many years. This concentration of evil grew, like a cancerous tumour, and became increasingly popular among the citizens of Russia. They actively supported the beginning of the “special military operation” (SVO) for the “denazification” of Ukraine. The invaders wrote the letters SVO on walls and automobiles; the monsters even carved the letters on living animals. …. They deliberately set about destroying Izyum and its civilian population.
“It would take several days to describe the horrific behaviour of the Russians. We cannot forget what they did!”
… Today Serhiy and his mother live in a private house. Three dogs live outside: dependable friends who will defend them and warm them when they feel sad.
Problems with phones, the lack of electricity and the coming winter encourage them to be more self-reliant; they must constantly search for materials to keep themselves warm and meet their elementary need for basic toiletries and foodstuffs. However, people believe that things will get better and are overjoyed that Izyum was liberated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.