People story


Story 21: Yurii

Yurii, 21, was an engineering student from Mariupol. He lived apart from his family, so when the city was besieged, he was split from his parents. Yurii’s mother managed to escape from Mariupol, but Yurii himself was forcibly deported to Russia by the occupants.

Yurii was at home, when Russian soldiers came to him and ordered to pack. They said he had no choice but to be “evacuated” to Russia. They put on a train with other people from Mariupol. It was April 4. Ten days later, Yurii texted his mother that after days on the train, they made it to the village of Semyonovka in Russia’s Nizhegorodsky Oblast. 

The young man was staying in a temporary accommodation centre surrounded by a forest. Russian “volunteers” together with police regularly came and interrogated Yurii about his family in Ukraine and opinion on the war.

These were the last messages Yurii sent his mother. There are no clues whether Yurii is still alive.