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Russia-Ukraine War: the dramatic rescue of a soldier who spent 30 hours under the rubble

Only the penetrating blue eyes of the soldier stand out from the dust-covered face who, thirty hours after the terrible attack on a military barracks in Mikolaiv that left dozens dead, could be rescued alive from the rubble.

It was a journalist present at the scene who heard noises under the rubble on Saturday morning and alerted rescuers. After dig with your hands for an hourThey manage to get it out. On the stretcher, the wounded man, in a state of shocklooks at the orderlies and tries to speak.

According to testimonies of rescuers and soldiers, collected on the spot by the AFP news agency, six rockets hit the barracks — originally a school for junior officers — around 6 a.m. on a Friday. “A big explosion,” explained Nikolai, a resident of the neighborhood where several buildings were damaged.

“No less than 200 soldiers were sleeping in the barracks,” said Maxim, a 22-year-old soldier who came from another nearby post and watches the scene in astonishment. “have been extracted at least 50 bodiesbut we don’t know how many are left under the rubble,” continued the young soldier.

Ukrainian soldiers carry the body of a comrade killed in the shelling to the Mikolaiv base. Photo: AFP:

Yevgeny, another soldier at the scene, estimated that the attack may have killed a hundred people.

Impossible at the moment to have an official count or other elements about the attack. The information remains blocked, at a time when the official discourse wants Mikolaiv, “shield” of Odessa —the great strategic port, located 130 kilometers further west—, resist and reject attacks by Russian troops.

Authorities have been saying for several days that enemy forces have been pushed towards Kherson, a Russian-controlled city further east. But The attacks deadly, which have already affected civilians and military positions for two weeks, they don’t stop.

We are not allowed to say anythingbecause the rescue operations have not ended and not all the families have been notified,” Olga Malarchuk, a visibly moved military spokeswoman, explained in Ukrainian and then in Russian. “We are not yet in a position to announce a number of victims and we I can tell you how many soldiers were present,” he added.

the ukrainian presidency does not answer questions about this bombing. In a video posted on Facebook, Mikolaiv regional governor Vitali Kim said: “Yesterday the orcs cowardly launched missile attacks on sleeping soldiers,” adding that he awaited more official information from the Armed Forces.

Rescuers continue to search for survivors under the rubble.  Photo: AFP.

Rescuers continue to search for survivors under the rubble. Photo: AFP.

At the scene, rescuers and firefighters have been working tirelessly since Friday, accompanied by the haunting sound of the bulldozer which clears the huge pile of stones, concrete and twisted metal bars.

Rescuers placed a bloody arm and a piece of human torso on a canvas. Later, three bodies, one of them covered with a white sheet, are pulled from the rubble. The military bags and bulletproof vests of the victims are piled in a corner.

A few meters from the destroyed barracks, another less damaged building still houses a dormitory and some offices. all the windows are broken and there are military boots scattered on the floor.

Ukrainian soldiers walk past dead bodies of colleagues near the bombed-out military base in Mikolaiv.  Photo: AFP.

Ukrainian soldiers walk past dead bodies of colleagues near the bombed-out military base in Mikolaiv. Photo: AFP.

A small painting of a religious icon, as well as photos of soldiers, they have resisted hanging on the wall. A gray stone plaque, depicting a sailor leaning on a rifle and ships in the background, remains standing in the midst of this spectacle of desolation.

It was probably going to be placed at the entrance of the exploded barracks. You can still read a poem whose first words are: “Combat! You will win”.

Source: AFP.

LGP

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