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The boarding school saved its wards from occupation and captivity

Illustration: #ZheniaPolosina


The Russians destroyed Borodianka perhaps the most of all the cities of Kyiv Region. With the beginning of the full-scale war, the psychiatric hospital, where at that time 420 patients (including children and people with reduced mobility) were staying, also came under fire. Water and electricity quickly disappeared, leaving only six employees and director Maryna in the building. It was so cold that several patients died from frostbite and poor conditions. The employees of the hospital buried the dead in a mass grave on the territory of the institution.

But the worst began on the tenth day of the full-scale war, when the building was seized by the Kadyrovites, the fighters of the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov. At first, they conducted brutal searches in the psychiatric hospital, scaring the patients. After that, the Kadyrovites began to threaten the director Maryna ("If we find soldiers here, we will kill you and send your body by piece to your president") and forced her to record a propaganda video with gratitude to the Russian army. They pointed a gun at Maryna and ordered her to go into the room for filming, but the woman lost consciousness, and it was no longer possible to shoot the video.

The soldiers of Kadyrov decided to dig in near the hospital, mined the entire area around it, and began shelling Borodianka. Staff and patients were forbidden to leave the hospital under threat of being shot. And the Ukrainian military couldn’t attack the Russians in response to their shelling because they knew that there were civilians in the hospital. Thus, the psychiatric hospital became a human shield for the Kadyrov militants.

After 10 days of being held hostage, Maryna saw a convoy of buses on the street and could not believe her eyes. The Ukrainian authorities agreed on the hospital evacuation, but the workers had no idea about it: the connection was lost at the beginning of the occupation. The people of Kadyrov gave an hour for the whole assembly process, including the transportation of patients with reduced mobility. Some wards couldn’t stand the transfer. So, several workers decided to stay in the hospital to care for about 30 challenging patients.

As soon as the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated Borodianka, Maryna returned to the hospital. The director says that now her work life is to restore the institution and bring back all her people who were forced to flee from the war.


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