Deaths and cities canceled: Kiev takes stock of 100 days of war

from Francesco Battistini

A ceremony in the capital today commemorates the 243 children killed since the invasion began. The number of dead remains a mystery, there is more clarity on the number of refugees and displaced persons

KIEV – Papers and markers are not enough. You have to convince them to sit down, because they are hyperkinetic. And to draw, because they are hypobulic: Sometimes it takes up to an hour. Many kids they just refuse. And when they finally dare some sign, says psychologist Iryna Frankova, they only use black and red. Shapeless spots. Crushed cars. Houses without roofs. Bicycles on the ground. Or cats with tears. At Ohmadtit Children’s Hospital they see it every day, how much a war costs. The full waiting room: We have hundreds of cases of anxiety, discomfort, insomnia. We don’t want to overdo it with psychiatric drugs. But we are few. And the children being treated, too many. We don’t have time for real psychotherapy (the symbolic photos of 100 days of war).

The war news live

All of Ukraine a black scribble flecked with red. To remember i 243 children killed by the barbarian invasion , today in Kiev they will organize a ceremony near the colossal Brezhnevian statue of the Motherland. One short thing, however: there is to think of the living and the surviving, the dying and the dying. To the others missing children: 200 thousand, say the Ukrainians, whom the Russians have deported from the Donbass, to ensure that they forget their country forever and are unable to return. How much damage these hundred days of emotions and hard work, bloody battles and losses have caused, says the mayor of the capital, Vitaliy Klitschko. With us we are well over the brink of humanitarian catastrophesums up his colleague from Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko, our 20,000 deaths are twice as many as the city suffered in World War II, not to mention 95 percent of houses destroyed and the telephone network completely shut down. In Mariupol, epidemics are already nearing the emergency, no gas and no electricity, but drinking water that cannot be found even in Severodonetsk and in the Lysychansk oblast, where the governor Alexander Zaika speaks of a 60 percent of totally devastated territory. We understand what awaits us: Everyone is waiting for the autumn – foresees a research by the Kyiv School of Economics -, when the very heavy damage of the war of friction will hit hard the morale of the Ukrainians and the 5,000 targeted sanctions that of the Russians.

Human costs

How much damage? Moscow suffers from the $ 300 billion frozen in overseas funds, the thousand foreign companies that have left, air traffic plummeted from 8.1 to 5.2 million passengers, the Moex Russia stock index fell 40%, inflation 17.8%. Kiev has seen 35% of GDP wiped out, 22 million tons of wheat blocked, plus the rest. The most unlikely figures are on human costs. The exact number of deaths is always a mystery: the 4,169 civilians killed according to the UN are certainly a defect, if compared even only to the 20,000 registered in Mariupol. The 60-100 Ukrainian soldiers lost per day, admitted by Zelensky together with the 500 injured daily, are coupled with the certainty of the 30,000 Russian enemies killed in terms of credibility. (Fairly) independent sources in Moscow speak of 3,203 fallen among Putin’s troops, against the 1,351 admitted by the Ministry of Defense; the British cite 15,000 dead, with 40,000 injured. Perhaps exaggerated, not unfounded, the comment of Zelensky himself: we are approaching the number of victims that the Soviets had in ten years of Afghanistan.

There is more clarity on the quantity of refugees: by surface, the 20% of Ukraine conquered by the Russians is equivalent to the whole of Croatia plus a piece of Slovenia, and there are still few (3 million) Ukrainians who are returning home after being displaced in other cities (8 million) or who fled abroad (7 million), mostly to Poland; 16 million Ukrainians are deprived of almost everything, says the UN, and the 2 billion aid allocated to feed and assist them can only be enough until August.

Schools, hospitals, bridges

The Hundred Days War is a painful rosary of growing numbers: 220 thousand people who do not even have a roof to stay in, because the 5 thousand civil buildings – destroyed and surveyed just a month ago – have become 38 thousand, eight times as many. There are almost 1,900 schools, kindergartens and universities in ruins. A thousand factories and hospitals (in April they were half)40 thousand kilometers of roads, 300 bridges and power plants, a dozen dams and airports, countless railway stations. Even the calculation of over 500 billion dollars, by now, old and much more will be needed of the willing online auctions that to raise funds have put up for sale the treasures of the news: the pink hat and the crystal microphone of the Kalush Orchestra at Eurovision, Zelensky’s autographed sweatshirts, the Lamborghinis of the Ukrainian oligarchs and their collections of paintings …

Cultural heritage

About art: the Russians have already pulled 390 among churches, theaters, museums, libraries, historic buildings and for this reason Kiev is asking to expel Russia from Unesco. Not just any destruction and sometimes, indeed, well-aimed: in Sviatohirsk, the Lavra of the Holy Dormition, a celestial Donetsk monastery dug into the mountains, was bombed for the third time in three months. A white and blue maze of astonishing beauty. The main place of worship in eastern Ukraine: until a few days ago it obeyed Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and who now, after the schism that led the whole Church here to break away from the pro-Putin popes, wanted to punish himself. Did you destroy it yourself and are preparing to ask for damages for this too ?, they mock from Moscow. They want to crucify us, the comment of the patriarch of Kiev: and to charge for the nails as well.