Polina’s diary, part 1
21-year-old Polina Kovalevskaya was trying to survive in Mariupol from the first day of war (February 24th, 2022) until April 4, 2022. Here are some excerpts from her diary.
March 3. Eighth Day of War
Yesterday we came to this shelter [at the City Cultural Center] because a rocket destroyed our apartment building… At night we managed to get some sleep because we got lucky: our basement room is 15 ft by 12 ft with a high ceiling. This room has an advantage – there is enough space to lie down. There are 15 people and three dogs here (husky is great, but the two little ones bite). In other rooms people sleep while sitting or standing up. There is not enough oxygen, though…
Now we are discussing where to get drinking water at the time when stores are closed and looters are fired at with no warning. By the way, is it considered looting if one takes from a store that has been already destroyed? There is no such thing as personal possessions. We are all in the same boat, so we share everything among 15 people. We take turns fanning [the room] with a piece of cardboard or fabric to make it easier to breathe…
Today the bombs are falling on our building. Children are crying, boys are freaking out because of sleep deprivation, women are praying.
We understand that there is no way for us to escape, and this is true. They bomb 24/7 and you never know where it will land. We are surrounded, the Russians don’t care who they kill, they are trying to raze Mariupol to the ground.
Written by Polina Kovalevskaya, 05/02/2020. Abridged and translated by Aya Mantsur-Shane