Shyrokyne: Ukraine’s Ghost Village

Glasnost Gone

“She ran to me and screamed ‘that didn’t happen, houses don’t burn!
My dresses are there, my toys!” 
hild upon learning her home had been destroyed.

The village of Shyrokyne is located in the Donetsk Oblast (province), some 12km east of the city of Mariupol. Sitting on Ukraine’s southern shoreline, the Sea of Azov laps at its edge. Before the conflict, the population numbered around 2,000, with 100 children attending the local school.

Village of Shyrokyne 7

September 4th 2014 changed everything.
With Russian led forces advancing from the border and needing to capture Mariupol, the first Russian shells hit the village.

Below picture: Shyrokyne Jan 21st 2018: Seen from Ukrainian positions. During winter, the Sea of Azov shoreline (on the right), routinely freezes over.

Village of Shyrokyne 5

Shyrokyne had suddenly become the front line and the price it paid was heavy indeed. On February 15th 2015, street fighting began in the village. A resident Valentyna Logozynska’s recounts how…

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