Home NEWS Ukraine Live Updates: Russia Strikes Mykolaiv in Another Blow to Embattled City-EnglishHindiBlogs-News

Ukraine Live Updates: Russia Strikes Mykolaiv in Another Blow to Embattled City-EnglishHindiBlogs-News

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The first time Yana Muravinets tried to persuade to leave her home near Ukraine’s front lines was a young woman who was five months pregnant.

She didn’t want to leave her cows, her calf or her dog. She told Ms Muravinets that she put energy and money into building her house near the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, and that she was afraid to lose it.

“I said: ‘None of this will be necessary when you are lying dead here,’ said Ms Muravinets.

Since the early days of the war, Ms Muravinets, a 27-year-old photographer and videographer from the area, has taken on a new volunteer job with the Red Cross: encouraging people to evacuate. In phone calls, house-to-house conversations, public speeches in village squares, sometimes even on fire, she has tried to convince Ukrainians that leaving everything behind is the only surefire way to survive.

Persuading people to give up what they have created in their lifetime is just one of the many monotonous jobs created by the war, and another challenge faced by the authorities. While the city of Mykolaiv managed to repel Russian attacks at the start of the war, the attacks crushed it and its territory, causing widespread death and destruction. Many residents have left, but hundreds of thousands are still there, and the mayor’s office has urged people to leave.

Ms Muravinets, who has spent thousands of hours in recent months trying to make a case for evacuation, said she was not up to the task. She started having panic attacks, she said, but felt she had to keep going.

“The war is not ending and people just keep putting themselves in danger,” she said in a Zoom call from MycoLive, which had to be cut short because of the shelling. “If I can convince one person to leave, that’s already good.”

Boris Shchabelki, the coordinator of evacuation of disabled people who worked with Ms Muravinets, described her as a tireless worker, gentle with those who need to be evacuated and “always in a good mood” with her colleagues. .

Along with the Red Cross, it has helped evacuate more than 2,500 people, she said, but many have stayed, or returned days after they left. Ms Muravinets said it took a month and a half to persuade the young pregnant woman to run away, and it was only after the windows of her house were knocked on twice that she left.

“Especially when it’s safe, people think it’s okay and live under some illusion,” she said. “They decide to leave only when missiles hit their house.”

Credit…Letitia VanCone for The New York Times
Credit…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

For two years before the war, Ms Muravinets worked for Lactalis, a French dairy company that had a plant in the area, and visited farming villages to check the quality of the milk.

Now that many country roads have become dangerous, she uses the shortcuts she learned at her previous job to escape the fires to remote villages. But now, he has to persuade the dairy farmers to give up their livelihood.

“It’s a whole life for them,” she said. “They say: ‘How can I leave my cows? How can I leave my cows?'”

Before the war, he said that a cow could cost up to $1,000. Now, people take them to slaughterhouses for a fraction of the meat.

Ms Muravinets said some farmers who agreed to vacate left the aisles open so that the animals would not starve, and cows, bulls and ducks now roamed the village streets in search of food and water.

“The people who had the money, the opportunities, the cars are already gone,” Ms Muravinets said. But others who had lived in the bunkers for months told him that they were ready to die there because they refused to leave.

She said that she was staying for the same reason.

“Those who are left are those who are ready to sacrifice their lives.”

Valeria Safronova Contributed reporting from New York.


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