OLENA Alekseenko (right) and Yelyzaveta Povstiana attending the vigil in solidarity with their native country Ukraine at Tuam Square recently. Photo: Ray Ryan

Dead of the night


AN EERIE silence hung, like the sword of Damocles, over the eastern Ukrainian town of Dniprorudne between February 24 and March 13, 2022. With a population of nearly 18,000, Dniprorudne is a town in the Vasylivka district centre of Zaporizhzhia.

The invasion of Ukraine had begun on Thursday February 24 in the east and west with dozens of missile attacks. The first fighting happened while most people slept in their beds at 3.40 am (Kyiv time).

A 25-year-old former accountancy student, Yelyzaveta Povstiana of Dniprorudne knew they were coming. She recently spoke to The Tuam Herald from her new home, the Corralea Court Hotel in the town of Tuam.

“It didn’t seem right. February 24 is burnt into the collective memory of my people,” she began. “We sat, eat, drank, worked, and slept during those first days as if nothing was happening. But we all knew it was. The nearby towns of Mariupol and Melitopol had been invaded and were devastated. We knew our turn would come…

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