Ayuna Mozorova recently returned to the site of a blast that left her buried under rubble for several hours and recalled the harrowing moments to CNN.
She remembered where she was standing that day at the Kharkiv regional administration building in Ukraine. Seventy-two days earlier, she had been standing next to a cupboard, distributing coffee and cookies to Ukrainian soldiers, when the building was bombed.
“I feel a physical manifestation of fear. I don’t like cookies any more. A box fell on me and I remember the smell,” she told CNN.
Her husband Andrei had scoured the place, looking for her for three hours.
“When I heard her voice, I was crawling across the rubble, and the emergency services were trying to kick me out. I pulled a man out and then heard her. I did not plan to leave her here,” he said.
The multiple-rocket attack was an early sign of the brutality Russia would unleash on civilian targets.
The soldiers waiting in the corridor outside from her died. The young women in the basement below her died — their bodies were not found for three weeks.
Yet where Mozorova stood, somehow the concrete fell in a way that it shielded her.
“I knew I was alive, in pain but nothing broken. But I was worried I would be left and never be heard. The first time they heard me, they started to get me out and then the second missile came, and I was properly trapped,” she said.
When her husband found her, he cried.
“It got easier to breathe. I was surprised as I thought I was still at ground level. The ambulance guys said, ‘It’s your second birthday. You are alive.’”
The trauma lives on. Mozorova said she now sleeps with lights on, and when she hears a loud car or a jet plane, she braces.
“The nightmares are that I am again lying there and shivering cold. And that nobody hears my cries. That’s also stop me sleeping,” she told CNN.
Mozorova was born in Russia, but can no longer talk to her relatives there. She said they believe Russian state media’s absurd claims that this is a limited operation against Nazis.
“They say it was my stupidity, and I don’t need to be here,” Mozorova said. “I hope when time passes, our children can talk, but I can’t talk to them now. Russia has lost its mind and cannot control its president. They are all each responsible, every citizen.”
Quoted from Various Sources
Published for: Mr Blow Up