Six months in basement: 7-year-old girl from Bakhmut rescued by police

Ukrainian police officers of the White Angels special unit evacuated a 7-year-old girl, her mother, and her grandfather from Bakhmut. 

The family did not want to leave for a long time, and little Anna spent six months in the basement of a high-rise building – all this time, she almost never went outside, the BBC told in their reportage.

In a basement in the epicenter of the Russia-Ukraine war

Bakhmut is the epicenter of the Russia-Ukraine war. Russian invaders have attacked and bombarded the town for the past two months. The Ukrainian army defends the town, nearly entirely destroyed by Russian bombardments and almost deserted.

“For half a year, the girl did not see the light, did not walk around the city, and did not play with her peers,” the police say.

In many photos, the girl looks pale, with only her eyes shining.

Police unit White Angels evacuated Anna and her family

“White Angels found a free apartment in the Pokrovsk district of Donetsk region and evacuated the girl and her family there.

This is a temporary home. In the future, the family will decide where to go next, and the police will monitor their fate.

The “Angels” had been taking care of Anna and her family for a long time – they were persuaded to leave. Still, the girl’s mother, Yulia, did not agree.

7-year-old Anna said that her mother, grandfather Valeriy, two cats, and a dog, Mushka, used to stay in the basement almost all day.

The walls were decorated with colorful drawings, but the dark basement still resembled a prison cell.

Hanna said all her friends had long since left, some to Poland and some to western Ukraine.

To console the girl, the White Angels always came to her with gifts: coloring books, pencils, toys, clothes, and sweets. The child became friends with the group’s leader, Pavlo Dyachenko.

“Many times Anna gave her drawings to the “angels” because they are her only friends. And true friends don’t leave you in trouble,” the police say about their 7-year-old friend.

“The day is so sunny”

“Today is such a beautiful, sunny day, and there were no blasts. It must have been God’s help and my police ‘angels.’ Now everything will be fine, and I will finally fulfill my dream of going to the dance,” says 7-year-old Anna, who is in a new place.

As she says goodbye, Anna kisses the policemen who took her out of Bakhmut and tells them about the road and how she saw some things, like traffic lights, for the first time in six months.

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