Chernihiv, Ukraine – Two years after Russian armed forces captured the small village of Yahidne in Ukraine's Chernihiv Oblast, Ivan nonetheless feels fortunate to have survived.

Together with 366 locals, together with ladies, youngsters and the aged, he was detained by Russian troopers in a faculty basement for 26 days in March 2022.

The villagers by no means considered Yahidne as a strategic place for the Russian forces. They didn’t anticipate to be focused.

Once they started to listen to the sound of explosions within the surrounding space, they feared the worst.

On March 3, the peace of this small group was shattered when Russian army automobiles entered the village in a protracted column.

Ivan, 63 years outdated, rushed to his home, hoping to hunt shelter.

Nevertheless, he and his household, confronted with the specter of dying, rapidly surrendered to the Russian troopers and joined the opposite locals compelled right into a basement of the college.

“I bear in mind the day they broke into the basement of our home the place I used to be hiding with my household. They [Russian soldiers] he threatened us with weapons and ordered us to take off our garments and hand over our telephones,” Ivan stated.

Yahidne's story didn't make the headlines in March 2022 and that's in all probability as a result of there was virtually nobody to inform it.

Since its launch, the villagers have spoken with investigators and journalists to be remembered and chosen to maintain the basement intact to function a battle memorial.

Remnants of battle, akin to explosives and shells, may also be seen scattered across the village.

“We thought we have been doomed,” stated Ivan, who typically refers back to the basement as a focus camp.

Russian troops captured Yahidne seven days after launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. They retired on the finish of March.

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