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Ukrainians evacuated near Kieu's fear of war-damaged homes

Valentyna Klymenko tries to get home as late as possible to avoid the darkness of the war-damaged home outside the Ukrainian capital. She visits her friends, asks for water in the wells, and finds a place to charge her phone.

Then 70-year-old Klimenko returns alone to the noisy and vibrant apartment. She is now greeted in a dim, damp room, not in the voice of her great-grandchildren.

Klimenko rarely cooks. She drinks fruit compotes and she eats canned tomatoes prepared last year, so she doesn't waste gas on a portable stove. She goes to bed soon, but she can't sleep for a long time.

Her thoughts revolve around one question, "What will happen to my house?"

Abandoned dwellings

Russian troops withdrew from the area around Kieu in late March. However, according to Oleksiy Kuleba, head of Kyiv regional administration, they left 16,000 damaged homes in the Bucha area, where Borodyanka is located.

The most affected street in Borodianka, a town with a population of over 12,000, was Zentralna, still known as Lenin Street less than 10 years ago. One of the houses on this street belongs to Klymenko.

According to witnesses, a shock wave from a Russian airstrike that hit a building across the street with two bombs set fire to a five-story apartment in Crimenko.

The apartment on the upper floors of the Klimenko building was burnt. After four months, electricity, water and gas were gone. Some inhabitants lost everything and arrived on the street without any means of finding a new home.

"I had a sofa and an armchair here, but now there's just a fountain," Tetiana Solohab said, pointing at the black wall of her house. There is nothing left, but there are some small enamel cups that smell suffocating ashes.

Solohub's charred apartment is located upstairs in Klymenko. They moved to a building that was just built 36 years ago at the same time.

"And now, at the age of 64, I'm forced to be homeless," Solohub said. Unlike Crimenko, she doesn't even have a damaged apartment to live in. She is completely gone.

Russian air fire damaged hundreds of homes, including that of 70-year-old Valentyna Klymenko, in the Borodyanka, Kyiv region of Ukraine. Photograph taken on June 28, 2022.
Hundreds of houses, including 70-year-old houses, due to a Russian aerial fire House was damaged-an old Valentyna Klymenko in Borodianka, Kyiv region, Ukraine. Photo taken on June 28, 2022.

Shipping container becomes home

Solohub currently lives in a camp for refugees. Shipping container. It was founded in Borodianka with the support of the Polish and Ukrainian governments. There are other such camps in the areas of Kyiv and Lviv. It has become a popular way to provide homes to those who cannot return to their homes.

Borodianka camps are home to 257 people, 35% of whom are elderly. Kostyantyn Morozko, the representative of the military junta in the Bucha region and coordinator of the shipping container camp, said he expects two additional containers for 160 people this month. But that's not enough. 700 families are waiting for him.

Morozko expects temporary camps to withstand autumn, winter and spring. Until then, he thinks there is a 90% chance that people will remain. The first cold weather is expected in early September.

Camp residents are accustomed to the idea of ​​long-term stays. They bring a bouquet of fresh flowers to the shared kitchen every few days, the shelves are full of belongings, and the "private room" tables are covered with colorful tablecloths.

However, the living conditions of the elderly are difficult. Solohub shares a small, small room with plastic walls with two others. There isn't much on her shelves. She didn't have the opportunity to save her belongings.

Due to the heat of summer, it is difficult for her to stay in her makeshift house all day long. As a result, she often rests in a small garage with metal walls and no windows near the house.

"I have a private space in this garage and no one cares. I can't breathe in that plastic house," Solohub said. "We want to repair the house and create a place to invite children and grandchildren."