Oleksiy Kabanets

Before the war, I lived with my wife at the address: Irpin town, 22z Kyivska Str. My parents, brother and grandmother lived in Hostomel village, next to the airport, where the fiercest battles took place. On February 24 the parents came to Irpin by car (GAZ 31105, 2008, almost a collector’s car, as it was one of the last ones produced of its series), the car was full of their belongings. At that time, my wife together with a small group of neighbours and construction workers were hiding from shelling in the basement of a newly built kindergarten, next to the residential complex in which we lived. The car packed with our belongings was parked next to the house, while me and my whole family during all this time, all 10 days, sat in the basement, going out only once, to the pharmacy, because everyone got sick, and once to the store to buy some bread (it was the first time in my life that I had to stand in queue for bread for 4 hours). On March 4, battles with the Russians were already taking place at all entrances to Irpin, shellings reached their peak and intensity. I tried to put my wife, mother and grandmother on the evacuation train, but we got under mortar fire right there, at the Irpin railway station. We never got to the train, but we all miraculously survived. On March 5, the Russians broke through to Irpin, and that is why we decided to escape by crossing the Romaniv bridge. Unfortunately, the car ran out of gas, we simply wouldn’t have made it, so we decided to leave the car and walk to the bridge. When we left the territory of the residential complex, the car was still intact. On the way, the Ukrainian military picked us up and took us to the crossing in Romanivka, then, after 2 hours of crossing by foot, we boarded the evacuation buses. Already in the evening, I learned from the neighbours that after we left, there was heavy shelling, there was a lot of destruction, in particular, our house and the neighbouring one were also hit, from which the burning roof fell on our car, which also caught fire and was destroyed. The inscription on the body of the car „K22z“ stands for „Kyivska street, building 22z“, and was made by our neighbours for the further identification of the car. I am also attaching some pictures of the car before the war.