Ukraine, the battle of the widow Alyona: I ask for justice for my Vitaly

In Kherson she saw her husband, a Ukrainian intelligence agent, tortured and killed. 'They were possessed, they kept beating him, until he didn't speak anymore.' She now she lives to see her murderers indicted

  Kherson-Alyona-Vitaly-Lapchuk The role (and faces) of men and women in this war Photo Video

The only certainty is that for many days the fighting has been as intense as ever. Kherson, the city on the southern front that gives its region its name, is still in the hands of the Russians and little or nothing is known about the counter-offensive by the Kiev troops to recapture it. Zelensky remains silent and asks not to disseminate information via social media so as not to give advantages to the Russians. Moscow, on the other hand, repeats that the counter-offensive was rejected and that his soldiers inflicted 'heavy casualties' on the enemy. It will take time to understand. Instead, it takes courage to read stories like the one we have collected and present to you below - video 1 | video 2 | video 3

Olena Zelenska, the Ukrainian first lady to the European Parliament – guard

'Last night I dreamed that two of them were dead and when I woke up I prayed to God: I beg you, I asked him, let it be true. If it were the last thing I will do in my life, I swear: I will bring those two and the others before the judges for the crimes they committed. Three had balaclavas, but I would recognize the other six among a million people and I want the world to know that they are not human beings, because there is nothing human in what they have done '.

SIGHS, WORDS AND TEARS - Alyona Lapchuk, 54, tells and cries without restraint. She is desperate because the Russians have captured, tortured and killed her husband Vitaly, who was 48. But she is also determined because she wants - very much she wants - to be among the witnesses of the war crimes that (sooner or later) the International Criminal Court. She made contact with a human rights organization working in Ukraine, her case was evaluated by the lawyer and the activists who are working on the legal aspects and a few weeks ago she went to The Hague, in the Netherlands , where the Criminal Court is based. At this point, her became a mission, more than a testimony. 'My way of doing justice to all the Vitalys in this war,' she said in her own words. Whenever she spells her husband's name, Alyona takes a little break. Silence.

Ukraine, accident for Zelenksy. The video of the rescue - guard

MEMORIES - Memory selects memories, goes back to that day, March 27, 2022, and to that place, Kherson. 'I was at home,' she sees herself again. «I remember that Vitaly called me on my cell phone and said: open the gate please. Usually he used the remote control but I didn't have time to ask myself questions: I opened it and saw three jeeps enter with the Z on the bodywork. He worked for the secret services and was the head of a territorial defense unit, someone betrayed him and captured him. When I saw him I started screaming '. Alyona studied medicine, a glance was enough for her to understand that Vitaly was in bad shape. 'They beat him savagely. His face was swollen and blue, bruises and cuts everywhere, on her head he had the obvious marks of a blow from the butt of a machine gun. I was in hysterics and kept saying: who are you? Give me your names. You can't do this… Until one of them, the one with the Dotetsk crest on his jacket, told me: if you don't finish it I'll break your teeth. I looked him in the eye and realized that he was really going to do it, so I forced myself to stay calm. ' He, Vitaly, could barely stand up. He had a degree in Psychology, he knew how to talk to people. To those boys with different uniforms from his he kept repeating only one thing: 'Please don't touch my family.' To one of them he must have said ten times: 'You gave your officer's word that you would not touch my family.' They were looking for weapons, they dragged him to the cellar and when he got back up he had a broken left jaw, more bruises, more blood. 'Enough, it's too much,' Alyona dared to say. «But they were like possessed, they kept beating him», she goes back to that moment. 'Until he was able to say anything more, just a murmur that sounded like a moan.' Silence again. Pause. Alyona's voice is thick with tears but she continues the story. “At one point my mother came out into the yard with the Bible in her hands. She put it in front of their faces and she begged them: stop, in the name of God, that's enough, she told him. But those are godless gods, they are people who never knew anything about God. And they continued to massacre Vitaly ». Then, before leaving, the looting: they took money, gold, computers, mobile phones ... everything that had a minimum of value. Alyona remembers the objects of the house in their hands, the cries of her mother, her son who was trembling because he is sick and that day had not yet taken the medicines.

THE LAST LOOK - And she especially remembers the exact moment they put a hood over her head to get her into the car and take her to the police station. They did the same with Vitaly, right in front of her, at the exact same moment. Their eyes met for the last time and she, in the gaze of the man she loved, read words never said. Neither terror nor resignation. “It was rather desolation, sorrow. As if her expression said: I am so sorry my love for the suffering you are experiencing because of me ». Silence. Long pause. Deep sigh. Alyona did not know anything about him until June 10th. Before that date she had dared to hope that he was being held somewhere, that he might end up in a prisoner exchange group. At a certain point his mobile phone was also active again. She felt empowered to hope. But it was a deception. 'How are you?' She wrote him with trembling hands and heart. On the other hand, someone replied 'It's all complicated', and she understood that it couldn't be him because, if she was fine, she always answered that question with '+'. For the two of them, “+” was “everything is fine”.

THE FINDING - May 26 was a sunny day; a boy swimming in the clear waters of the Dnipro River saw something floating on the bottom. It was a corpse, hands behind his back tightened by a plastic string and a stone tied to his foot to keep him down. Evident traces of torture. It took some time to trace his identity. Until June 10, in fact. Up to the photograph of the strange birthmark that Vitaly had on her left arm. Alyona looked at her and swore to herself that she would spend the rest of her days seeking justice. Her new hope awaits you in The Hague, at the International Criminal Court.