Ukrainian resident in tears as town torn apart by shelling in first round of Russia attack

Ukraine: Resident emotional as she hides in basement

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German reporter Mathias Bolinger met with a Ukrainian local Olena Makarenko, who is currently living in the town of Vrubika, just kilometres from the frontline. Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed a violent attack on neighbouring Ukraine, despite global political leaders trying to de-escalate the situation. Some residents living in Ukraine have been trying to flee their homes in order to reach guaranteed safety, whilst others want to stay and fight.

Ms Makarenko spoke of the confusion she felt over the crisis, not knowing “where” to go or “what to think.”

Mr Bolinger said: “Vrubika is quite far away from the artillery positions of the other side, there are 15 kilometres between here and the frontline, which is just the range of the artillery that they are using.

“People here have not experienced this kind of fighting, even during the worst times a few years ago.

“Olena Makarenko and her neighbours have tried to make the most out of a cold and damp cellar, but the effect of the electric heater is limited.

“She is in and out of the basement constantly most days.”

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Ms Makarenko said: “I need to go up now and take some stuff to my daughter’s place, she is finally leaving with her kids, at least to a place nearby.”

The DW reporter said: “She would like her to move further away until it becomes clear with the latest news from Moscow and Kyiv mean.”

Ms Makerenko said: “I don’t know what to think now, I do not yet understand, I don’t even know what to do next.”

He noted: “It takes just a few minutes and the shelling begins again.”

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Unlike Ms Makarenko and her family, some Ukrainians want to stay and fight back, taking up their own arms, or joining civilian defence forces.

Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of the Centre for Civil Liberties think tank, insisted Ukrainians are ready to fight back against a Russian invasion.

Exclusively speaking to, Ms Matviichuk said: “This is a rather weird situation.

“On the other hand, like everyone else, you continue to go to work, shops and cinemas are open.

“We accepted the fact that we have to fight for our country, our freedom, and human dignity.”

A group of adults from the Union of Ukrainian Artists have decided to create a partisan in order to fight back against the Russian invasion.

A member of the partisan Boris Yeghiazaryan spoke exclusively with the Daily Express.

Mr Yeghiazaryan said: “If before we said we are ready to die to defend our country, now we say we are ready to live to destroy them (Russians).

“We don’t want to kill – but the moment the enemy crosses our border, he is then a murderer and we have to kill him.”

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