He assures that he should not be alive to tell this story, that he feels that he has been resurrected. Mykola Kulichenko, a 33-year-old Ukrainian, was kidnapped by the Russians along with his two brothers on March 18 and, after interrogating them for three days and torturing them until they lost consciousness, the fourth was each shot in the head. and they were thrown into a pit. Mykola, however, survived.
A shot shook him, and he learned that his older brother, Dmytro, 36, was dead. He couldn't see it, because a bandage that those Russian soldiers had placed on him prevented him from doing so, but he felt next to him, a few meters away, his corpse. Then he touched the little one, Yevhen, 30 years old; and finally to him.
According to statements made to CNN, which have published this story, the shot went through his cheek and out through his right ear, which, despite the pain, kept him alive. Mykola, aware that this was his only chance to stay alive, dropped to the ground and pretended to be dead.
Those Russian soldiers pushed his body and those of his brothers to a grave, where they spread a little earth, and left the place. Limbs still bound, he freed himself from his brother's corpse, which was trapping him, and climbed out of the pit. "I was having a hard time breathing, as Dmytro was lying on top of me, but using my arms and knees, I was able to push my older brother to the side of the well, and then I got out," he says. He trudged to the home of a woman he didn't know, but who nursed and fed him until he was reunited with his sister, Iryna. He acknowledges that he understands this "rising."
«I looked him in the eye and asked him where the others were. She said there was no one else », recalls Iryna through tears. He points to luck as responsible for his good destiny, and believes that "this story should be heard by everyone, not only in Ukraine, but throughout the world because this kind of thing is happening and this is only one in a billion" .
Until that March 18, his life in Dovzhyk - a small town with less than 1,000 inhabitants - was very similar to the one he led with his family before the war. Everything changed when, according to CNN, a Russian column was shot down and Putin's soldiers searched for those responsible. One of the houses they searched was that of the Kulichenko family, and it was then that the Russians, suspecting their relationship with that bombing, kidnapped the three men. Iryna, that day, was not at home.
According to him, it is all because they discovered his grandfather's military medals and a military bag belonging to Yevhen, the little one, who had been enlisted as a paratrooper. "They beat us all over our bodies with a metal rod and put the barrel of a gun in our mouths," he recalls. On April 22, a month after the nightmare, his brothers have been buried with dignity in a nearby cemetery.
CNN publishes that “the prosecutor's office of the Chernihiv region has opened an investigation for war crimes. Investigators confirmed that the brothers' hands and legs were tied and their eyes were blindfolded. Across Ukraine, more than 11,600 suspected war crimes have been recorded so far, according to local authorities.