Ukrainian Linlithgow dentist's dad tells of life trapped in war-torn country

The father of a Linlithgow-based Ukrainian dentist has given a first hand account of what life is like in a war zone.

By Kevin Quinn
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 2:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 2:10 pm
Viktor and Luda Rozovenko fled to their summer home near Chernihiv.
Viktor and Luda Rozovenko fled to their summer home near Chernihiv.

Anastasia Martin (42) calls home every day but fears that every time she speaks to her parents, Luda (69) and Viktor (76) Rozovenko, it might be the last time she hears their voices.

The couple are currently trapped and unable to leave their summer home in a village near Chernihiv, after they fled Kyiv at the start of the conflict in a vain attempt to escape serious fighting.

Viktor sent over his chilling ‘report from the cellar’ via his daughter, documenting what life is like for him and his wife trying to stay safe.

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The couple's shelter, where they hide from the shelling.

He said: "We taped windows in the house and closed them with wooden shields to protect from the shock waves. We brought a bed, water, candles, food and warm clothes down to the cellar. As well as crowbars and axes, in case we need to dig ourselves out after the blasts.

"At first, during the explosions, we often ran to the cellar. Now we are getting used to it and not reacting as much. We now know that when artillery shelling fires we won’t have enough time to run to the cellar, but the shockwaves from them are not as destructive.

"We have learnt that you can hide from the rocket, you can see it from afar and it makes a pinching hissing sound gradually increasing. Although, if there is a direct hit, then there is not a chance.

“In daytime we watch the trails of missiles chasing the planes. A neighboring village three kilometres from here was bombarded with hail. Seven houses were burnt down and a father and son were killed. They went out to smoke on the porch and were cut into pieces by shrapnel."

A mural in the shelter to remind them of their daughter Anastasia in Scotland.

Recalling the start of the invasion on the morning of February 24, and the couple’s desperate attempt to avoid the conflict, Viktor added: “Russians are bombing. Shock. Not from the bombs, but from the fact that Russians, our brothers, are doing this to us.

"We grabbed our documents and some food, tumbled down from the fifth floor to the subway. We reached the end station, hundreds of people were on the roads asking for a lift. We were lucky, someone took us to our village, 100km from Kyiv.”

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Life is tough for residents living on the frontline of the war in Ukraine.
Luda (69) pictured at the top of the stairs to the couple's shelter.