Ukraine war: Irpin and Bucha residents search for life in the wreckage

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By Euronews
A building stands damaged by a missile in Irpin, near Kyiv, amid Russian aggression in Ukraine
A building stands damaged by a missile in Irpin, near Kyiv, amid Russian aggression in Ukraine   -   Copyright  Natalia Liubchenkova/Euronews

Myru street in Irpin near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv means ‘Peace street’ in English. But it hasn't lived up to its name since the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

One of its buildings stands badly damaged by a missile. Its residents now face a common problem: winter is coming, and they haven't been able to prepare their homes for the coming harsh conditions.

“There is much damage in my home: the windows are broken at the balcony and in the apartment, my doors are damaged, my fridge, my wardrobe,” said Liubov Zavoruhina, a local resident.

“The winter is coming, and we want to turn the heating on, but if the windows stay like this, the warmth will seep out.”

Fewer buildings have been damaged by the fighting in the neighbouring town of Bucha, but the number of lives lost is significantly higher.

Both Irpin and Bucha in northern Ukraine fell foul of the fighting between Kyiv and Moscow as Russian troops tried to capture the Ukrainian capital during the first stage of the war. 

Russia was beaten back but the places were left scared by the violence, with mass civilian graves later uncovered in Bucha. 

But the locals don't want it to be known as a ghost town.

Julia Nichvoloda, a business owner and a mother of five children, fled the fighting in March. She is now back in Bucha and is working on restoring her coffee shop.

“After everything got destroyed, my new dream was to start working again,” Nichvoloda said.

“And turn this place into what it used to be, to make it cosy and nice again. I want people to gather here with their families and friends with coffee or a glass of wine to talk."

On the cardboard replacing the café’s broken windows, clients have written words of support for Julia. While the wounds are still fresh, that sense of community will be invaluable in the long winter months ahead.

Watch the video above to find out more.