Ukraine farm animals burned alive in Russian bombing

MALA ROGAN: On a farm in the north Ukrainea spooky-looking heifer that has been limping since one of her hind legs was torn off by shrapnel in a Russian attack has been reflected on farms around the country since the war started.
The four-month-old baby survived the bombardments that killed about a third of the animals in the meat and dairy facility in Mala Rogana village about 25 km (15 mi) south of the second Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
It was a “nightmare” narrated by owner Lyubov Zlobina62 years old, who said she was “haunted by the howl of burned cows” during the attacks on March 26.
“I cling to this little miracle,” she said, referring to the wounded heifer, the distant sounds of shelling echoing in the background.
“I gave her antibiotics twice but sadly the wound was still oozing fluid and she was not gaining weight,” she added.
“If we can get the shards out, maybe she will recover. For surgery, we would have to take her very far and we can’t,” Zlobina said annoyed.
During the first weeks of the war, Mala Rogan was captured by the Russians. They were beaten back afterwards, leaving a hell of a battle scar.
Zlobina’s husband, who served in the Soviet army in Afghanistan, showed AFP journalists some of the videos taken during the attacks.
Mykolai Zlobin, 57, recalls, describing the scene of hay in the barn burning in all directions. A cow that was giving birth was beheaded.
They had to use a tractor to knock down a section of the wall to get the trapped cows out, all while explosions were pounding around the panicking herd.
“I tried to save a few piglets, but their mother protected them in the womb,” Zlobina said. The hens jogged and pecked each other as if nothing had happened, she said.
Yulia KovalA 38-year-old farm worker said part of the roof had fallen in while she was trying to remove calves from a farm building.
“We couldn’t do it because everything around us was falling apart. But we didn’t have time to think again,” she said. We just wanted to save them, that’s all.
Severely injured animals had to be extinguished.
‘Cattle attack’
The warehouse is now a burnt, rusty skeleton. Animals graze and rodent in the fields around the farm, which, unlike much of the farmland in eastern Ukraine, appears to be unexploited.
For the youngest and most vulnerable animals, a hastily built shelter will provide some protection but will have a stronger alternative for the winter.
Farms and farmland across Ukraine have been ravaged by war. Local media regularly report on the enormous damage caused by Russian shelling.
Government figures show that 15% of the country’s livestock has been killed since Russia invasion on 24 February.
The NGO Open Cages Ukraine said in a June report that it expected the number of farm animals killed in the conflict to be around 300,000 by the end of the year.
In addition, the two-hectare farm in Mala Rogan is also roaming, exhausted and hungry feral dogs, abandoned by their owners, who flee from the Russian offensive to towns and cities in eastern Ukraine.
“Look at this wounded girl with her three lambs,” Zlobina said, pointing at her as she tried to hide.
“She was attacked less than 24 hours ago.”
“Initially, the dogs ate the carcasses of abandoned Russian soldiers and sometimes we found paws or hands on our land. Now they’re attacking the herd,” she said.

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