They were killed by Russia: children who died because of Russian aggression

Agency of media ABO
They were killed by Russia: children who died because of Russian aggression

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the ABO Local Media Development Agency created the Memorial: Killed by Russia. The memorial commemorates the names of civilians and soldiers who died due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "We have created this memorial so that you can learn about everyone killed by the Russian army," the media notes.

In cooperation with Memorial: Killed by Russia, Svidomi tells about the children who died due to the war.

Sofia Kriachko died in Lyman, Donetsk region. On May 23, 2022, Russian troops continued their attack on the city, shelling it. Sofia and her mother, Natalia, were seriously injured in a rocket attack. They were taken to a hospital in Kramatorsk, where Sofia died the same day. Her mother died the next day. 

On May 30, Sofia Kriachko would have turned nine years old. She loved English and drew well. Her family remembers the girl as cheerful and energetic.

"She was a positive girl, but with a temper - she liked to have everything her way. English was her favourite subject; she was great at reciting poetry in English. She was also good at mathematics. She loved to dance and sing at home," Sofia's cousin Alina recalls. 

On the afternoon of May 23, 2022, a shell hit the basement where Sofia and her mother were hiding. Relatives pulled them out from under the rubble. The father took a neighbour's car and drove his daughter and wife to the hospital. Unfortunately, he also came under fire on the way and had to return home. The Ukrainian military helped him get to the hospital. 

The girl's father took his own life.

Vsevolod Kucherenko from Zelenivka, Kherson region, was five years old. On May 17, 2023, when the shelling of the village began, he was at the playground with his grandfather. Vsevolod was wounded.

His father, who was nearby, grabbed the kid and stopped a passing car to take him to the hospital. On the way, the boy's heart stopped. 

Before the outbreak of the full-scale war, the boy went to kindergarten. Then he stayed with his mother. After the full-scale invasion, the family evacuated from Zelenivka and returned to deal with some errands after a while. 

"Little Sieva, as all his relatives affectionately called him... He grew up to be a brilliant boy. He was cheerful, good, and smiling. His mum and dad were the best for him..." said Anastasiia, a family friend.

Anna Sudak died on March 23, 2022, in Mariupol. She and her family were in the basement of a nine-storey building. At four in the morning, the Russian military dropped bombs on the house. The walls collapsed. Her 15-year-old sister Sofiia and her parents, Khrystyna and Yevhenii, died with Anna. 

"Anna was cheerful, had many friends, and loved being outdoors. At first, she was engaged in ballet, and later in fitness and oriental dancing," said Bohdan Demchenko, a friend of Anna's sister. 

The girl attended the Sharmel Dance School of Oriental Dance. She participated in dance festivals and was good at drawing, just like her elder sister. 

"Our daughters danced in the same group, and I met their mother. Children were everything to her. They were beautiful, smart, and creative. The elder is a painter, and the younger is a dancer. Their mother supported them in this," says Yulia's friend. 

Anna Sudak and her family were buried at the Starokrymske cemetery in Mariupol.

On March 19, 2022, the Russian military carried out an air strike on a private house in the village of Kostiantynivka, Mykolaiv region. A fire broke out. The house burned down, and people died. These are Oleksii Bondar, his mother Iryna and grandmother Valentyna.

Oleksii was seven years old. In September 2021, he started first grade. He practised football at a local children's sports club. Oleksii knew almost all the countries of the world and their capitals. He enjoyed playing chess and checkers with his father. 

"He was a smart boy. Some adults don't know as much as seven-year-old Oleksii knew. He dreamed of becoming a football player. He smiled so sincerely when he succeeded in something," said Natalia, the sister of the victim's grandmother.

When the full-scale invasion began, Oleksii's family - his grandmother Valentyna and mother Iryna - moved from Mykolaiv to a private house in the village of Kostiantynivka. They thought it would be safer there.

On May 1, 2023, the Russian military shelled the Chernihiv region. They hit a school in the village of Lyzunivka in the Novhorod-Siverskyi community with guided aerial bombs. Valentyn Mekhed, a 14-year-old boy, was nearby. The boy did not make it home on his bicycle a few metres - a bomb fragment hit him in the neck.

Valentyn Mekhed was an eighth-grade student of the Pecheniuhivskyi educational complex, played football and helped his parents with the housework. Friends and teachers remember the young man as kind, friendly, cheerful and always ready to help. 

"A boy with a good heart who loved animals," said Natalia Novochenko, a family friend, about Valentyn. 

"I remember the first time I met Valentyn in the third grade. He was a blond boy with gorgeous eyes and a radiant smile. He was my student in 2017. I will always remember him like that. Unspeakable pain," wrote Tetiana, Valentyn's teacher.

Valentyn's two older brothers went to the forefront to defend Ukraine.