Story 4: Volodymyr
Since Kherson was occupied by the Russian troops, Volodymyr took responsibility and care of 50 orphan kids of age from 4 to 15. The man was the Director of the “Center for Social and Psychological Rehabilitation of Children” and he vowed to protect the orphans.
Rockets and shells regularly flew over the orphanage. The kids could walk in the courtyard only for 15 minutes per day. And when Russian troops were based in the town, Volodymyr told kids to stay in the building. Several times, the orphanage teachers even had to hide all the children. Occupants were hunting the children to deport them to Russia.
Volodymyr guarded the orphans for months until one day Russian soldiers came. Kids were hidden, so occupants couldn’t find them and only took away their documents. Staying in the orphanage was dangerous. Volodymyr moved the children to a church building for better protection. They had to sleep on mattresses on the floor to survive. Eventually, Russian soldiers found and took them away. The orphans were deported first to the occupied Crimea and then to Anapa, Russia.
After long negotiations and with great efforts of the Ukrainian authorities, Russia agreed to return the children through Georgia. The Embassy of Ukraine took the abducted orphans back to Ukraine in a safe zone.
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