Mariupol: Life and Death

Mariupol’s dramatic theatre was the heart of my city. A heart that holds the best memories of my childhood and teenage years. This is where my grandmother and mother introduced me to performances for children and I fell in love with the theatre. I was so nervous as a child when I was about to dance on the theatre stage. For me the place was magical, and it felt unreal that I was dancing there. ​

The heart of the theatre has now stopped beating. This heart was full of living people when it was bombed. I died on the inside when I heard the news on the 16th of March. The Russians have now turned this place of celebration and romance into a mass grave.


Caption: The square in front of the Mariupol Theater of Drama, where the inscription ”Children” could be seen from above, a few hours before the air-attack. Photo: Viacheslav Tverdokhlib

The sea. My favourite place in Mariupol… in the whole world. I lived nearby – it was about a 10-minutes’ walk away. This place gave me strength, calmed me down and eased my pain when I was sad. ​

​When I was a child, I didn’t like sunbathing. But I loved swimming in the sea, which I did very often. When I grew up, I loved walking along the pier, going to the beach in the morning and evening and reading a book. The harbour was visible from the city’s beach. ​

​I remember the last time I swam in the sea. It was in August 2021.