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She Survived The Nazis. Can She Survive Putin?

By Rediff News Bureau
Last updated on: August 08, 2022 09:26 IST
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IMAGE: After surviving World War II, Maria Nikolaevna lived a busy and fulfilling life, raising two children, working as an engineer in the Soviet aerospace industry and cultivating a beautiful garden at the family home in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
As she grew old and her husband Vasilii Emelianovich died, her horizons narrowed to the confines of her second-floor apartment, the view from the window of children playing on the swings and visits from her daughter who lived nearby.
When war returned this year and bombs struck her building after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Maria's world shrank further -- to the confines of a basement across the city.
For the past four months, 92-year-old Maria has lived underground with her daughter, son-in-law and the family cat.
She gets her only glimpse of natural light by sitting in a doorway at the foot of stairs that run up to the street outside. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Maria Nikolaevna reads in the basement which has become her home since Vladimir Putin launched his horrific war in Ukraine.

 

IMAGE: An Ukrainian soldier at the frontline in the Kharkiv region. Photograph: Sofiia Gatilova/Reuters

 

IMAGE: An Ukrainian soldier fires rocket launcher in the Kharkiv region. Photograph: Sofiia Gatilova/Reuters

 

IMAGE: The BM21 Grad multiple launch rocket system is prepared for firing. Photograph: Sofiia Gatilova/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Oleksii, 11, shakes hands with a soldier at his improvised check point. Photograph: Sofiia Gatilova/Reuters

 

 

IMAGE: The damage caused to an oil storage facility in Mykolaiv by a Russian military strike. Photograph: Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters

 

IMAGE: A destroyed school building in Mykolaiv. Photograph: Press service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine/Handout via Reuters

 

 

IMAGE: A truck loaded with wheat moves past an unexploded shell in a field in the Kharkiv region. Photograph: Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters

 

IMAGE: A harvester loads a truck with wheat in a field in the Kharkiv region. Photograph: Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Firefighters work at a site of a professional college that was heavily damaged by a Russian strike in Kharkiv. Photograph: Sofiia Gatilova/Reuters

 

IMAGE: A printing factory damaged by a Russian strike in Kharkiv. Photograph: Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Pro-Russian troops walk along a street while searching for anti-personnel landmines in a street in Donetsk. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

 

IMAGE: The Russian combat engineers take part in an operation to demine anti-personnel landmines. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

 

IMAGE: The engineers try to disengage the landmines. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

 

IMAGE: An engineer cautions a trolleybus driver during the demining operation. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

 

IMAGE: An engineer cautions a woman during the operation. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Combat engineers demine anti-personnel landmines in the street. Photograph: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

 

IMAGE: Law enforcement officers block a street following a reported drone attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet's headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea. Photograph: Reuters

 

Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/ Rediff.com
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com and Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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