Before Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Mariupol resident Irina and her family had a "beautiful life." She was a design engineer with "great pensions" and her children had "wonderful" jobs. Today, she's homeless.
"We have nothing, just nothing," Irina told Reuters on Monday as she stood in the destroyed remains of her home, wallpaper peeling off the walls behind her. "We are left homeless. ... They have broken everything. We have nowhere to go."
Mariupol, a port city in Ukraine's southeast, has beenof Putin's troops for weeks. Along with frequent attacks, civilians who have been unable to leave continue to lack food, water, gas and electricity. Late last week, Ukrainian officials estimated that there are roughly 100,000 civilians .
The lack of daily essentials has been detrimental to Irina's family of eight. All they have is two buckets of potatoes and a bucket of onions, she showed Reuters, plus eight pieces of frozen fish.
They're using the ingredients to make soup — but don't expect it to last long.
"We will cook the soup for four days from them," Irina said. "Four days for eight people. Because there is no food at all. You should understand it."
Genadiy, another longtime resident of Mariupol, was a shoemaker in the port city for 37 years before the invasion began.
"I proudly worked as a shoemaker and was left with nothing," he told Reuters as he carried bags of his belongings out of his home while explosions boomed in the distance. "No workshop, no work, nothing. ... It is very scary to stay with nothing. I have to dress and shoe my kids somehow."
Many residents are losing their homes amid cold temperatures. Tuesday night is anticipated to see a low of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to The Weather Channel, and winds are forecast to gust up to 30 miles per hour.
"Nothing is left," Mariupol resident Vladimir said. "I live in a bathhouse. I have a small bathhouse and a stove, and that's it. There is no roof. There is nothing."
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