This is a series of posts about my experience in Poland and Ukraine during the Russian military invasion and attempted takeover of Ukraine in 2022.
Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, is in the north center of the country. When the Russians began their invasion, they intended on a quick takeover of the capital with a blitzkrieg style invasion from the Belarusian border and the northern Russian border. They were so convinced that they could take control in a matter of days that their soldiers packed food for three days and brought their dress uniforms to wear for an expected victorious military parade down streets of the Ukrainian capital. Let’s just say that didn’t pan out. As the Russian helicopters flew into Ukraine with units of Russian Spetznaz, several were shot down. The ones that managed to land in the Gostomel airport outside of Kyiv were quickly engaged in shootouts and killed. The best of the best of the Russian military died in the first day of the invasion.
That didn’t stop them however. A huge number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, trucks, and more barreled their way down to the capital in a bewildering long column that was easy shooting for Ukrainian forces. The Russians eventually made it to the outskirts of Kyiv and took control of all the cities and towns in the area. Irpin is a suburb of Kyiv and this city was overrun by the Russians.
As the Russians approached Irpin, the residents fled any way they could. Russian commanders ordered their soldiers to shoot anyone and everyone trying to escape. Many cars of families, women and children were mercilessly gunned down on the roads and streets. After the weeks of occupation the Russians retreated from the area and the Ukrainians gathered the destroyed civilian vehicles in three parking lots across the destroyed city as evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian military. Stories in the captions.