May 25, 2022

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“What we saw there was terrible,” a resident of Mariupol reported of the horror during the Russian siege

“What we saw there was terrible,” a resident of Mariupol reported of the horror during the Russian siege

Crowded in the maze of Soviet-era bunkers below a massive steel mill AzovestalAnd Natalia Usmanova She felt her heart stop and she was afraid of the Russian bombs falling Mariupolat Ukraine.

Usmanova, 37, spoke to Reuters on Sunday After removing it from the planta sprawling complex founded during the era of Joseph Stalin and designed with an underground network of bunkers and tunnels to resist attacks.

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“I was afraid that the dugout would not hold, I was very afraid,” Usmanova said, describing the time she spent underground.

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“When the bunker started shaking, I was in hysterics, and my husband can assure you: I was very worried that the bunker would collapse.”

Azovstal steel worker Natalia Usmanova, 37, who was evacuated from Mariupol, reacts when she arrives at a temporary shelter during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the village of Bizimeny, Donetsk region.
Azovstal steel worker Natalia Usmanova, 37, who was evacuated from Mariupol, reacts when she arrives at a temporary shelter during the Ukraine-Russia conflict in the village of Bizimeny, Donetsk region. take photo: Alexander Ermoshenko/Reuters

“We haven’t seen the sun for a long time,” said a spokeswoman in a village. Biziminiin the area Donetsk Under the control of separatists with the support of Russiaabout 30 kilometers east of Mariupol.

She remembers the lack of oxygen in the shelters and the fear that pervaded the lives of the people squatting there.

Usmanova was among dozens of civilians evacuated from the factory in Mariupol, a southern port city that has been under siege by Russian forces for weeks and reduced to a wasteland.

Azovstal steel worker Natalia Usmanova, 37, is seen with other evacuees near a makeshift shelter during the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in the village of Bizimeny, Donetsk region.
Azovstal steel worker Natalia Usmanova, 37, is seen with other evacuees near a makeshift shelter during the conflict between Ukraine and Russia in the village of Bizimeny, Donetsk region. take photo: Alexander Ermoshenko/Reuters
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Usmanova said that she played with her husband on the way out of the bus, in a convoy that she agreed to United nations And by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) they will not need to go to the toilet with a flashlight.

“You can’t imagine what we went through, the horror,” Usmanova said. “I lived there, worked there my whole life, but what we saw there was terrible.”