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Ukrainian officials announced an attack on Russia’s arsenal in the Luhansk region


(CNN)
(CNN)

In Ukrainian villages east of the capital Kyiv, where Russian forces have retreated, residents are slowly starting to hide and the new reality they are facing is nothing short of devastating.

CNN’s Clarissa Ward toured a few villages that had been occupied by the Russians for more than a month. She reports that they have found “countless accounts of horror, executions, arbitrary detention, and more.”

A local school was taken over by Vladimir Putin’s invading army, used as a base, and left in ruins after being looted and ransacked by the army.

Bloodstains splattered the main entrance, where the school’s principal was left to wonder how such an act of brutality had happened.

“We are for education. Education is the future. Our students,” the woman told Ward. “It is a shame that our occupants do not understand this. Why steal everything? This is the school.”

A blackboard in a classroom Ward visited, which was previously occupied by the Russians, said: “Forgive us, we don’t want this war.”

Nearby, a local cemetery holds the bodies of six Ukrainian men, who authorities believe were executed on the first day the Russians arrived.

“We dig very quickly so they don’t shoot us,” one woman told CNN. “But there was heavy shooting and shelling.”

A pair of brothers were among the dead, Igor and Oleg. Their mother survived, but is now in mourning.

“They are very nice guys,” she said. “How I want to see them again.”

A Ukrainian mother told Ward that her daughter was arrested on March 25. More than two weeks later, she doesn’t know where she is, or if she will survive the Russian invasion. are not.

“They said they found information on her phone about their force,” the mother told Ward. “They told me she was in a warm house. That she is working with them and that she will be home soon.”

But as Ward revealed, “Victoria never came home.”

In the midst of a certain risk of death, Ukrainians clung to each other, and their sense of pride, with one woman finding solace among the blue and yellow stripes, Ward reported.

“We kept it, we kept it,” the woman told Ward, pointing to the Ukrainian flag presented to her husband while he was doing his military service. “We hid it.”

Now the flag can come out of hiding, as the Russian forces have retreated. The village was devastated, but now, it is once again free.

See Ward’s field report:



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