Zelenskyy Arrived in Yahidne 

by Meifan Honcharuk
Monday, April 3, 2023
Zelenskyy Arrived in Yahidne 

The village where the Russians held 380 people hostage in a 198 m2 basement for a month

On April 3, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, accompanied by German vice chancellor Robert Habeck and German ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen, arrived in the village of Yahidne in the Chernihiv region.

A small village 15 km away became a testimony to the brutality of the Russian army from the very beginning of the full-scale attack. On March 3, the occupiers began to evict the village residents from their homes and drive them into the basement of the kindergarten: a room without windows, a sanitary unit, with mouldy walls, the area of which is only 198 m2. The population of Yahidne is 400 people, and 380 of them were imprisoned in this basement from 3rd March to 30th. 10 people did not live to be released — they died of hunger and lack of oxygen.

"It is imperative that our partners are here with us, who see everything themselves. It is essential to see what happened in such basements in order to understand and help Ukraine... I can only add one thing: all this (abuse to which the Russians subjected defenceless civilians Ukrainians, including 67 children) I can wish the president of Russia to spend the rest of his life in the basement, with a bucket instead of a toilet," Zelenskyy.

While children were dying in the basement of the kindergarten, the occupiers set up a military headquarters in the upper room. At night, the sadists closed the basement of the castle and went to spend the night in the houses of Ukrainians. After the deoccupation of Yahidne, the Ukrainian side found out that these occupiers were the 55th motorized rifle brigade based in the Russian Kyzyl and the 74th from Yurga, Kemerovo region. Documents certifying the identity of the occupiers were found along with the trash and destruction left by the occupiers in Ukrainian houses. So far, 17 Asians have been identified. According to the testimonies of those who survived the torture in the basement, it turned out that in addition to the Tuvans, there were also Russians there. Work on the identification and prosecution of criminals continues.

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