6-year-old Adelina’s hair started going grey when she was hiding in the basement in Mariupol during the shelling, her mother Alina recalls the experience in the beginning of the war. The were in the bomb shelter together with 50 other people during the constant air attacks and bombing during the entire March 2022.
“The sea boulevard was completely covered with corpses. Every square meter there was a body. Someone without a head, someone was completely torn,” Alina recalls.
Their first attempts to leave the city failed due to intensive battles and shelling.
“My daughter Adele knew everything about the situation. She was told everything as it is: about shelling, the war, and bombs. She knows who Putin is, and where the Russian ship is going. We told her the whole truth. I believe that children deserve to know it. And it was impossible to explain it in a limited way when you are constantly being shot at,” Alina said.
When they were approaching the Russian checkpoint by car, while standing in line, Alina asked her daughter: “Adelina, please, just don’t say a word now! I’m begging you, just don’t say a word.”
“But when a Russian soldier got into our car, she asked: ‘Mom, are these orcs?’ Thank God he didn’t hear it,” Alina recalled.
To leave the destroyed Mariupol she had to delete almost everything from the phone since she had many friends among Azov fighters. She and her family finally managed to go through Russia to Poland.