People story


Story 5: Lena

Lena, an elderly woman, lived in one of the villages in Kherson region. She was a farmer, living off her garden and field. The woman lived near an orphanage, which before Russia’s full-scale invasion hosted not many children. 

At the beginning of autumn 2022, Russian troops brought 18 more to the place. The children were abducted from Snigurivka, Mykolaiv region and transferred to Lena’s village in Kherson. In fact, they were forcibly deported from one place to another, which violates Article 49 of Geneva Convention (IV) of 1949. For a couple of months, before the liberation of Kherson, Lena helped the kids in all possible ways — cooked for them, fed, took care of them.

The woman’s daughter even raised funds to buy more candies and supplies for the orphans from Snigurivka brought to Kherson region. Lena said there was a condition to bring food only before 7 pm. After that time, Russians forbid the children to eat.

As the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated the Kherson region in November, Russians ran away. They took away all the children from the orphanage with them. The orphans were given only 15 minutes to collect their belongings, told Lena.

5 children were rescued by Lena’s neighbours through the back door of the orphanage. The rest of the kids, 18, were forcibly put into armoured personnel carriers and taken away to the Russian town of Anapa. They are still there.


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