Latest Ukraine War News: Russia Strikes Another Blow On Mykolayiv City

The first person Yana Muravinets tried to force out of her home near the front lines in Ukraine, a young woman five months pregnant.

She did not want to give up the cows, the calf or the dog. He told Ms Muravinets that he had spent energy and money building his home near the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv and was afraid of losing it.

“I said: ‘There’s no need for any of this when you’re lying here dying’,” Ms Muravinetz said.

From the early days of the war, a 27-year-old photographer and videographer from the area, Ms. Muravinets has taken on a new volunteer job with the Red Cross: promoting evacuations. Through phone calls, door-to-door conversations, public speeches in village squares, and sometimes even under fire, she tried to convince Ukrainians that the only way to survive was to leave everything.

Forcing people to give up everything they had built up in a lifetime was one of the many dull jobs created by the war, another Challenge the authorities have faced The city of Mykolayiv was able to repel Russian attacks early in the war, and strikes hit it and its territory, bringing widespread death and destruction. Many residents have left, but hundreds of thousands remain, and In the mayor’s office Urged people to leave.

Mrs. Muravinets, who has spent thousands of hours in recent months trying to make a case for eviction, said he was unprepared for the task. She started to have a panic attack, but she felt she had to keep going.

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“The war is not over, people are putting themselves in danger,” he said in a Zoom call from Mykolaiv that was cut short by shelling. “If I can convince someone to leave, that’s already good.”

Borys Shzabelki, a disabled evacuation coordinator who works with Ms. Muravinets, described her as a tireless worker, gentle with evacuees and “always in a good mood” with colleagues.

With the Red Cross, he helped evacuate more than 2,500 people, but many stayed or returned days after they left. It took a month and a half to convince the young pregnant woman to flee, and she left only after the windows of her home were knocked twice, Ms Muravinets said.

“Especially when it’s safe, people think it’s good and live under some illusion,” he said. “They only decide to leave when missiles come home.”

debt…Letitia Wancon for The New York Times
debt…Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

For two years before the war, Mrs. Muravinetz worked at a plant for Lactalis, a French dairy company, and she traveled to farming villages to check milk quality.

Now that many country roads have become dangerous, she uses shortcuts learned in her previous job to avoid fires and reach remote villages. But now, she has to convince dairy farmers to give up their livelihood.

“It’s a whole life for them,” he said. “They say: ‘How can I leave my cows? How can I leave my cows?”

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Before the war, he said, a cow could fetch up to $1,000. Now, people take them to slaughterhouses to get meat for a portion of it.

Mrs. Muravinets said some farmers agreed to evacuate so the animals wouldn’t starve, and cows, bulls and ducks now roam the village streets in search of food and water.

“People who had money, opportunities, cars have already left,” Ms Muravinets said. But others, who have been living in bunkers for months, told her they were ready to die there because they refused to leave.

She said she stayed for the same reason.

“Those who are left are those who are willing to sacrifice their lives.”

Valeria Safronova Contributed reporting from New York.

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