The family was among hundreds of people seeking to escape Irpin last weekend.
A family was crossing the river that bears the same name from Kiev’s satellite city, Irpin, located northwest of the Ukrainian capital, on Sunday, but an attack by Russian troops surprised them midway. Their bodies were left lying on the ground. Ukrainian soldiers and journalists who were nearby rushed to attend to them, but the explosion had hit them squarely. In one second, a mortar annihilated four lives. They died while trying to flee from the horror.
The projectile killed siblings Miketa, 18, and Alisa, 9, instantly. Her mother, Tatyana Perebeynis, 43, was still alive when they came to treat her, but she died shortly after. Next to them, the young Anatolij, 27 years old, who was advancing next to them. The father, Sergey, was not with them at the time.
Andriy Dubchak, a Ukrainian photographer who collaborates with ‘The New York Times’, was the first to photograph the scene of terror. «He was walking through the streets of Irpin. There were people trying to leave. He was taking photos and filming. A little earlier I had heard automatic shots, I was moving with other companions. It was clear that the Russians had seen the people leaving from afar. There were hundreds: women, children, the elderly, the sick who were being helped by volunteers. At that moment, the projectile arrived,” said Dubchak, in a statement collected by ‘Corriere della Sera’. An attack that, therefore, would have been as cruel as premeditated.
Dubchak recorded the stupefied scene. Shortly after, he heard screams and then saw the bodies lying on the asphalt next to their suitcases and backpacks as a sad metaphor for a hope broken by the war. He ran towards them and saw them. Miketa and Alisa were no longer breathing, they were dead. Tatyana had a pulse, but she remained unconscious. She passed away shortly after. The inguinal arteries of Anatolij, the 26-year-old church volunteer who was helping them, were skewed and he couldn’t get over it either. Along with them, only one of the two family dogs, who were waiting in their carrier next to the luggage, was left alive at that time.
Dubchak did not know who the deceased were, he asked, but no one knew them. Then, the photographs of him were published and finally he contacted his relatives, the godparents of the two youngest victims. It was with them that the family planned to meet until the Russian fire ended their lives. Through tears, the godmother, a displaced person from Donbass who lives in Kiev, just wanted to know if they had suffered. The entire family had left Donetsk immediately after the first Russian invasion of Donbass in 2014. They sought a new life further away from Russia and, in the end, died under fire on Sunday at noon.
Tatyana, a keen skier and gardener, worked as an accountant at a technology startup, according to Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Giczan. But the Russian bombs began to arrive in his neighborhood of Kiev. In one of the attacks, the woman and her children had to take refuge in the basement, according to ‘The New York Times’ in an extensive article. It was time to flee and move to eastern Ukraine where her husband was taking care of his mother sick with covid, being trapped there by the war. But the mortar fire uprooted the possibility of reuniting the whole family. They died while running through the rubble of a bridge after abandoning their vehicle.
Her husband, Sergey Perebyinis, instantly recognized their family’s suitcases in the photos that went around the world. Hours before, he already assumed that something had gone wrong when the geolocation of his wife’s cell phone pointed to a hospital in Kiev. The unanswered calls, both from his wife and his children, plunged him into a growing state of uneasiness until he finally saw the images of the bodies lying about 10 meters from the crater created by the mortar. Ironically, next to a monument to the fallen of the Second World War of Irpin.
His parents, who were behind their daughter-in-law and grandchildren, were not harmed. But Perebynis was broken. His farewell message on Facebook from him is really moving: “They took them all. Tanya couldn’t make it. Forgive me, I didn’t protect you.” In an interview, the man could not contain his tears as he recalled that just the night before he had told her wife that he was sorry he was not with her. It was the tragic final chapter in his love story that began when this computer programmer met his future wife in high school. Finally, they married in 2001 to start a family in an apartment in the city of Irpin, outside of Kiev. There they lived with their two children and their dogs, Benz and Cake.
After losing loved ones, Sergey, also 43, put his efforts into getting the family pet back. Sadly, she also died on Monday at the veterinary clinic to which she was transferred. It was as if she missed loved ones who were gone and decided to join them in heaven. Regarding the photos of their bodies, the man agrees to their dissemination “The whole world should know what is happening here,” he said.
Zelensky swore revenge
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, vowed to hunt down and kill “all the bastards” who murdered them. “A family was killed in (Irpin) today. A man, a woman and two children. Right on the road. When they were just trying to get out of town. To escape,” Zelensky said, in a broadcast on Sunday night. “How many such families have died in Ukraine! We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will punish all those who committed atrocities in this war. We will find all the bastards who shot at our cities, at our people,” the president said.
#story #mother #children #died #suitcase
Leave a Reply