(breitbart) – LVIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukrainian survivors of one of the most brutal sieges in modern history were in the final minutes of their train ride to relative safety.
Some carried only what they had at hand when they seized the chance to escape the port of Mariupol amid relentless Russian bombardment. Some fled so quickly that relatives who were still in the starving, freezing Ukrainian city on the Sea of Azov aren’t aware that they have gone.
“There is no city anymore,” Marina Galla said. She wept in the doorway of a crowded train compartment that was pulling into the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
Even as they finally fled Mariupol, aiming to reach trains heading west to safety, Russian soldiers at checkpoints made a chilling suggestion: It would be better to go to the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol or the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula instead.