A Month “Just Trying to Survive” In Mariupol

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ALINA BESKROVNA, UKRAINIAN WHO FLED MARIUPOL: The experiences I have gone through are just incomprehensible. We woke up from a large blast on the morning of January — February 24. And I went on Facebook, and I scrolled down my news feed, hoping it was a nightmare, but it wasn’t, and the actual war has started. So we spent almost exactly one month in the basement with no electricity, no gas, no water, cooking on open fire, sheltering in place for days on end during active shelling, digging out trenches to bury the dead, just trying to survive.

AMANPOUR: I mean, we’re looking at pictures that you have — you have sent to us. And we can see the under — underground life that you lived for that period of time. Who were you with there? Who was sheltering with you?

BESKROVNA: So, we left from the apartment where we lived with my mom to join my family friend on the other side of town. And the reason was because they had a proper basement. By that, I mean you could stand up, and it was dry. And it was 32 people, people who lived in that building and relatives and friends who were joining, after intense shelling, after losing their apartments, after not being able to stay in their basements. At the height of it all, we had 32 people sheltering with us, including six children.

AMANPOUR: And, Alina, what was your greatest fear? Did you fear being killed in that basement by the bombardments or the building collapse? What was your greatest fear throughout that period?

BESKROVNA: I — surprisingly, I reached this point where I didn’t really care if I made it alive or not in about 10 days’ worth of time, which is something I did not expect of myself. My biggest fear was having my mom and my dad be left there by themselves without me. But, for myself, personally, my biggest fear was being raped by the Kadyrov Chechens, who we knew were in town already.

About This Episode EXPAND

Macron is the first French president in two decades to win re-election, comfortably beating his hard-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the second round this weekend. Alina Beskrovna was born and raised in Mariupol and spent a month there under siege before managing to escape. Ronan Farrow recently investigated the commercial spyware industry and its implications for democracies around the world.