Ukraine man whose home was 'looted' by soldiers tracks missing Apple AirPods over Russian border

Vitaliy Semenets said he alerted Ukrainian intelligence about the whereabouts of his AirPods.
Vitaliy Semenets said he alerted Ukrainian intelligence about the whereabouts of his AirPods.   -  Copyright  Canva via Pixabay
By Pascale Davies

Vitaliy Semenets fled Russia’s attacks on his home near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv only to return and find his apartment had been ransacked with personal items missing.

But he knows where his Apple AirPods are.

After he switched on the “Find My” feature, he discovered they had crossed the border into the Belgorod region of Russia.

“About 60 per cent of the apartments in our living complex were looted and I remembered I left my AirPods at home somewhere so I wanted to check if they are still at home,” Semenets told Euronews Next.

“I was really surprised that they were not in Ukraine already and were somewhere in Russia”.

Semenets then decided to post on Instagram about it.

"Thanks to technology, I know where my AirPods are now. It was looted by Russian orcs from my home in Hostomel," he wrote.

Since the war began in February, Ukrainians have taken to calling Russian invaders Orcs after the fictionalised monster anthropoid characters from JRR Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings.

He told Euronews Next he decided to post on Instagram so "everybody could see that was happening now because people from Russia don't believe that their soldiers are killing people, they steal things and do all these bad things in Ukraine".

Vitaliy Semenets
Vitaliy Semenets's raided apartmentVitaliy Semenets

Semenets and his family left Hostomel, a city northwest of Kyiv, in the first few days of Russia’s war and travelled to the city of Mukachevo in the west of the country.

Russian troops began withdrawing from Hostomel in early April after they failed to capture the city after six weeks of fighting.

Semenets, who owns a logistics company, said he alerted Ukrainian intelligence about the whereabouts of his AirPods but did not receive a reply for them and is unsure if they used the information.

He said they were last activated on April 9.

He has since returned to the apartment only to find his belongings, including a drone, a portable Nintendo Switch, and even a pair of shoes missing.

Vitaliy Semenets
Pictures by Vitaliy Semenets of his raided apartmentVitaliy Semenets

"It’s like a feeling which I have never known before like someone has entered your soul," he said about knowing Russian soldiers had allegedly invaded his home.

"We loved our apartment and used to have friends over but it’s no longer that place for us".

He and his family may leave the city as most of the city’s infrastructure has been destroyed. "There are no shops, no gas stations, there is nothing," he said.

Semenets believes the soldiers have taken mainly small items such as electronics so they can carry them back with them.

Vitaliy Semenets
Vitaliy Semenets said his wife's car was crushed by a tank.Vitaliy Semenets

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Russian troops had looted Ukrainian homes and sold the stolen items in Belarus.

Meanwhile, The Times newspaper reported on CCTV footage that shows some soldiers have sent stolen goods such as e-scooters and laptops to their families back in Russia.