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"It was truly the breath of death": Ukrinform correspondent on Iskander strike wound

20.05.2024, 17:03

Correspondent Olha Zvonaryova, who was wounded in the Russian shelling attack on Zaporizhzhia on April 5, 2024, shared the details of the strike on Facebook.

According to her, she and her colleagues were filming the aftermath of a missile strike in Zaporizhzhia on that day and heard the sound of a fighter jet at around 5:16 p.m.

"It was coming closer very quickly. We were told that we should drop to the ground in the event of a shelling threat. Then I tried to duck, as quickly as I could, as it seemed to me, and, most importantly, in the correct way," Olha recalls.

She says the black thing in the sky turned out to be an Iskander missile. She heard the blast very close to her.

"The breath of a missile... What can it be compared to? I think it is truly the breath of death. Again, I'm not being pretentious here. It's true. Now I know exactly what it is like: not dry (with nasty sputum – shrapnel, debris, dust), hot, intense, like a vacuum cleaner on the blower setting. It tears metal, dismantles houses. You can imagine what it can do with a human body. I didn't have to imagine," the correspondent noted.

Olha Zvonaryova says she felt that her left leg "went hot, and red spots started to spread over her jeans." She says she looked at her leg, but could not move it. She saw blood on her left arm. Then she heard something in the air again. However, by that moment she could no longer run or crawl.

"The only thing I managed was to cover my head with my hands. I thought that this one would finish me off, but the breath of the second missile was weaker: it exploded further away. As I lay there, I saw something like gasoline start to leak out of the car I fell down next to. I was (as I remember this feeling now) afraid that it would explode in a moment. I was conscious. I began to pull out phones that had fallen out of my hands from under the car," the journalist recalls.

Then she put the phones in her bag and sat up to that other could notice her and come help. Her colleague Serhiy Chaly was the first to run over to her. One of her colleagues started applying a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

"At the hospital, they told me that the shrapnel broke a bone in my leg. The fracture was not easy to fix, but luckily the knee survived. Similarly, there was a broken bone and a damaged tendon in the arm," said Olha Zvonaryova.

She noted that six and a half weeks after her injury, she still can't stand up from her hospital bed. However, the bone is growing back correctly.

"The arm now seems to be mine and someone else's at the same time. It hurts a little, I can not bend my hand in a fist, and some of the fingers don't 'obey' yet. There is probably no other way but surgery. However, that's for later. Now the task is to learn to work with it as much as possible," added Olha Zvonaryova.

As reported earlier, Ukrinform correspondent Olha Zvonaryova was injured by shelling in Zaporizhzhia on April 5, 2024.

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