Eyewitness Testimony: The Crimes of “Azov” in Mariupol

NEW – May 26, 2022

Below are the words of the veteran of labour Tatiana Ivanovna. She lives in a village near “Azovstal“.

Listen to her story about how “Azov” shot all the animals in the area and how they almost killed her herself for trying to save her chickens. How they mocked her when she asked for water and food.

“‘Azov’ militants, this was all done by them. They… This ‘Azov’ commander came. ‘What are you pottering around with there in the basement? Well, go away from there.’ But I can’t! I haven’t eaten or drank for 6 days. I said to their commander: ‘I want to eat, I haven’t eaten for 6 days…’ And he said: ‘I also want.’ I said: ‘I haven’t drank for 6 days!’ He said: ‘And I also haven’t drank!’ He turned around and left! 

But when it was a Chechen (soldier) who came, he said: ‘Why are you taking your time leaving? Who else do you have in your basement?’, I said: ‘Two chickens and a cat on the rope.’ He said: ‘Why are you talking so badly?’ I said: ‘Because I want to drink! My tongue is dry…’ He is undoing a flask: ‘Where can I pour water for you?’ There was an empty pail, I said: ‘Into the pail’. He poured everything out, shook out the flask, and fastened it again. 

There are four escorts in the background, he said to them: ‘Dash over there and bring grandmother a ration, so that she eats.’ After 40 minutes they came on the tank, brought to me buckwheat kasha with meat – a full plate. And they brought a loaf of bread and processed cheese. He said: ‘Pay attention, don’t eat everything at once. You’ll feel bad. Half it.’ I was dividing it into parts for 5 days. And this is the reason I’m alive. I lived through it all and saw how Chechens are, and how Banderists are. I saw all of them. I saw even those ones who had St. George’s ribbons, DPR troops. 

They came, hugged me, one of them gave me tinned meat, other one – bread, and another one even thought to bring sweets. I ate these ones only in childhood. They are kind of striped ones, it’s marmalade. They said: ‘Grandmother, we won’t allow any harm to come to you. We will defend you’. And at night they were shot. Oh God… What a pity I feel for them. 

They were the first to come, and they were the first to be killed. They were sitting on a bench. I said: ‘They are shooting.’ They said: ‘Let them shoot. Nothing will take us, we are charmed.’ They were sitting and drinking tea. And they, the bastards (Ukrainians) exited from behind the corner and shot them on the bench. Oh, I can’t… And then they came with ropes, and all of them stopped near my yard, because of the red little stars that I have here.

They (Ukrainians), these steeplejacks, were going to the ninth floor building, on ropes, in order to throw Chechens down from there. Chechens were laying low there, without any indication that they were there.

As soon as they got out in broad daylight, they (Ukrainians) threw them down. Not one of them remained alive. A tank (allied forces) came to pick them up, whereas all of them were lying around dead… It’s a horror. And how many corpses have passed through my yard. I can’t get over all this…

When I’ll be going to die, I’ll feel sorry for everyone who died for nothing. For nothing! Everything is broken! How much suffering, how much torment is all of this… It is simply a horror. And now we should feel sorry for them (Ukrainians)?… And to beg them to leave by the corridor? Anyone of them should not be given right to live! Because of what they did.

I said it earlier, and now I will say it again, that if they stood in front of me… I remember their faces, the ones who opened fire. They killed two of my chickens in front of the window. What are you doing? What did the chickens do to you? He picked them up. Just before he shot at the chickens, and then raised his gun and shot at me, at the window. 

There was no glass already there. He fired a burst at the window. It’s a good thing I reacted in this way. I saw that he had a gun… I saw that he made such a movement. I bent down, he fired a burst and ran behind the chickens. And the chickens aren’t stupid – they fled. Two remained alive, and he killed two of mine under the window, took them away…”

‘Azov’ took it where? To ‘Azovstal’?

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“I said that if they were revived (the killed soldiers), I would shoot them (‘Azov’ militants) myself. I don’t have even a gram of pity. Even one iota.”

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