A boy rescued after missile strike in Dnipro

At the time of the attack 12-year-old Rostislav Yarochenko was at home alone. His mother, Nadezhda Yaroshenko, a pediatric anesthesiologist, was at work.

“The only thing I remember was a flash, a window flying straight at me, and lots of smoke,” the boy recalled. His mom added: “My son called me, he was screaming on the phone that he can’t see anything, and he can’t breathe, there was so much smoke and fumes”.

Fortunately, right at the time of the strike Rostislav’s coach Yuri Vasetsky happened to be near the building. He immediately called Nadezhda and asked if she and her son were at home.

Yuri ran towards the burning building even before ambulances and firefighters arrived. “It was like a movie scene… part of the building already collapsed, cars parked at the ground level started exploding and burning, pieces of the structure were falling down. People trapped in the burning building were begging for help. I knew that the child was there, but how should I get him out?” Yuri recalled.

While he was climbing up the outside wall using whatever his hands and feet could find like fragments of balconies and window A/C units, he saw a mother with a child trapped in their apartment. He couldn’t continue just climbing up past them. Together with other passers-by who also rushed to help he got them out.

Yuri continued his climb. When he reached Nadezhda’s apartment, part of it was in ruins, the kitchen and entry hall were gone. There was a small area still intact where he found the boy. It was a miracle that the child survived and wasn’t even injured.  

For now, the family lives with friends. Despite everything they went through, Nadezhda is determined to stay in Dnipro. “What is so hard to accept is not that we lost our home, but the loss of lives,” she said.

That strike killed 46 civilians including 6 children. About 100 were treated in hospitals.

By Victoria Lemar. 01/21/2023. Translated and abridged by Lora Colvan

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