War in Ukraine: the inhabitants of Yahidne tell of their captivity in the village school

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A.Vahramian, S.Yassine, P.Yurov, L.Busko, P.Miette – France 2

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In Yahidne, Ukraine, 300 residents were crammed into the village school for 26 days. Guarded by Russian soldiers, they could not get out and were held hostage.

Yahidne (Ukraine) is located two hours from kyiv (Ukraine). Monday, June 20, the inhabitants of the city return to the school in which Russian soldiers gathered them in small groups, on March 4. “We were their hostages, human shields so that our army did not attack them”, testifies Valentyna Danylova, music teacher. In the basements of the building, 300 inhabitants were crowded and could only see the light of day if the Russian soldiers accepted it.

On the door of the cellar, a resident had written each passing day, as well as the names of ten elderly people who had died of suffocation. “We were suffocating, they could no longer breathe”, says Valentyna Shylo, a resident of Yahidne (Ukraine). For 26 days they were held captive. The Russian brigade left the city on March 31. “They were very cruel soldiers, we tried to help each other, we shared everything, the medicines. We supported each other as best we could”remembers Ivan Polgui, the school’s caretaker.

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