Container between rubble: Borodyanka is broken, but alive

Container between rubble: Borodyanka is broken, but alive

In the small town of Borodjanka, life is rearranging itself. The nine-story blocks of flats along Tsentralna Street stand black and silent. Whole stairwells and the adjoining apartments were torn away by bullets. Other parts of the blocks are burned out. The town hall was also destroyed. A local resident says that not a single administrative building has survived in the city.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

Borodyanka was once a town with 13,000 inhabitants. If you want to visit it, you have to drive a good hour northwest of Kyiv by car. He passes Irpin and Bucha and suddenly sees a row of burned-out armored vehicles in the forest. Irpin and Bucha gained notoriety in the first weeks of the war because of the mass abuse and murder of civilians by Russian soldiers stationed there. In Borodyanka, 25 kilometers from Bucha, there were apparently fewer atrocities. In return, the buildings suffered more. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stood in front of the ravine that Russian shells had torn into one of the blocks of flats for his speech on May 8, the anniversary of the end of the world war. Here he delivered a dramatic, at times lyrical, anti-war speech in which he asked why the formula “Never again!” had still not been fulfilled. His ten-minute video, which also shows images from other cities, is one of the most moving documents of the war.

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