In our second month, we focused on building up DATTALION’s database of eyewitnesses.
The goal of this project is to grow and expand access to the DATTALION database, which contains images and eyewitness accounts of russia’s illegal war in Ukraine and its war crimes against humanity.
Part of our project’s goal is to gather as many witnesses as possible. Currently, we have 241 witnesses in the database, including 15 new ones added since September.
Read some of their stories below and check them on ZN.ua.media as part of a collaboration with DATTALION.
It’s vital that we collect and document the testimony of witnesses to russia’s war crimes against Ukrainians. Our database serves as a crucial source of information for the media, enabling them to report on these tragedies through the eyes of our witnesses.
Among the witnesses is 17-year-old Vladyslav from Mariupol, who filmed his own video diary of the war. He recorded footage over 55 days, during which his family lived in the basement of a high-rise building. The boy not only managed to document all the horrors of the destruction of his native city and its people but also successfully managed to take a flash drive with a video and a Ukrainian flag through a filtration camp to russia. From there, he made his way to Ireland, where he currently lives and studies.
Vladyslav’s video diary includes horrifying footage: houses destroyed by constant russian shelling, graves of neighbors on playgrounds in the yard, his mother cooking by the fire near the elevator, and his little brother venturing out for the first time in 25 days onto the street where artillery was firing.
Another witness of russian war crimes is Svitlana Kulinich, who has been in Kherson since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. She recalls life during the occupation of her city, marked by shortages of food and medicine. The russians deprived the people of Kherson of their freedom of movement, freedom of speech, and even the freedom to read a Ukrainian book on the trolleybus. Communication with loved ones who had left became nearly impossible, as russian mobile communications networks took over those she and so many others relied on.
Until February 24, 2022, the Kherson City Perinatal Center, where Svitlana works, was the leading obstetric center in the region. The russians shelled the maternity ward twice — on January 11 and 24, 2023. The pathology department and the premature baby unit were completely destroyed.
Another account features Iryna, a well-known TV presenter of sports news on the “Novy” TV channel, who now works at a cemetery in Sweden. Her house in Irpin was destroyed by mortar fire from the russian army, leaving it in ruins.
More eyewitness accounts are available here in DATTALION’s eyewitness database.