Russia instantly killed his family of six. History of the Ukrainian policeman

At first I did not see any damage to Ivan Simoroz’s parents’ house in the town of Borodyanka near Kyiv. Then I realized that it was because there was nothing left of the house.

When a 26-year-old boy was standing in the middle of a rubble in a police uniform, it was simply impossible to comprehend the scale of the destruction.

“On February 26, I was at work in the regional police department, we talked on the street and heard” women! “- Ivan recalls.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for two days, cities in the Kyiv region have been hit by shelling, and Russians have been trying to get closer to the capital.

“The earth shook. I started dialing all my relatives: my wife, my brother, my mother, my father, my grandmother – and everyone was out of reach.”

“I realized something bad had happened.”

Ivan heard an explosion somewhere nearby, he realized that they had hit somewhere, but did not know where exactly.

He drove with his boss and several police colleagues to his home on Central Street and was stunned by the ruins left by his home.

I ask him what he was thinking at the time.

“Horror. War. Very scary, you don’t understand… You hope that someone is alive, maybe he hid somewhere in the cellar.”

Neighbors and relatives soon came to help with the search.

Ivan was the first to find his mother, who was lying dead on the refrigerator. Then, 200 meters away, he found the body of his younger brother. He lost both legs and arms. Next to him on the bed sat his favorite dog.

Then they found his grandmother, also dead, covered with bricks.

Ivan’s aunt found his one-year-old daughter Polina on the sofa, she was still breathing.

Then Ivan’s wife was found. Then his father. Both are dead.

Soon Polina died at the hospital.

Ivan lost six family members that day.

Ivan Simoroz (right) in the photo with his brother Peter (21 years old), father Vasily, mother Natalia and wife Elena (27 years old)

Police say Ivan’s house was the first to be damaged in Borodyanka. The city will be one of the most destroyed in the first months of the war.

With extreme accuracy and endurance, Ivan continues to show us a bunch of fragments that were once the home of his family. Multicolored tulips planted by his grandmother are breaking through.

Looking more closely, you see fragments of life: Polina’s shoes, a robe hanging on a beam.

Due to the fighting, none of Ivan’s relatives was able to come to the funeral

After what happened, Ivan took only three days off. He worked at a military checkpoint nearby and helped people evacuate by bus to safe areas.

For this, Ivan was awarded the Medal of Merit and Courage.

His police department was one of the first to work after the Russians left the Kyiv region. During this time, more than 1,200 bodies were found there.

What helps Ivan move on?

Although work, according to many, is distracting, it also helps a man survive his grief. When Borodyanka residents and police began rebuilding the city, Ivan met people who had experienced similar tragedies.

He says his friendships and support from colleagues have been invaluable.

“Everyone in Borodyanka has troubles and problems,” says Ivan. “We need to help people. Work and my friends help and support it.”

In early April, Ivan and his comrades returned to Borodyanka after the retreat of Russian troops

“He is an open, friendly, talented and focused person,” said Vyacheslav Tsylyuryk, head of the Borodyanka police department.

“To make you understand, one of the main features of Ivan’s character is that he hasn’t taken a single day off in six years of work.”

“I have never met such morally strong people,” Tsilyurik said, expressing hope that he would never meet anyone else who would have to be so strong after such a tragedy.

Over the next five weeks, many other houses in Borodyanka were destroyed, like Ivan’s house.

The main road through the city is now quiet. When you see the shattered high-rises, it becomes obvious that many areas of the city are no longer suitable for living.

The ruined walls of some houses exposed the former lives of people. Bookshelves and kitchen tables with utensils stand motionless in some places among the wreckage.

“People are completely demoralized,” says Vyacheslav. “They are learning to live in today’s reality.”

Ivan’s face changes a little only when he describes a place 30 km away: there, in the village of Piskivka, there are six wooden crosses on freshly dug graves.

Due to the fighting, none of Ivan’s relatives was able to come to the funeral

Little Polina’s grave is easily recognizable by her toys. But the most striking thing is that all the crosses have the same date of death: 26.02.2022.

The brutality and irreparableness of this war was reflected in one date, engraved six times.

“When you come there, you cry all the time,” says Ivan, swallowing a lump in his throat.


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