A young woman in Ukraine went viral on Sunday after being rescued from the fifth floor of an apartment building completely destroyed by Russian attacks – just weeks after losing her husband who died in the war.
Anastasia Shvets, 23, was in the bathroom of her apartment at the time of the explosion and was left in the corner of the flat, holding a green teddy bear and a gold decorative garland.
She was left in shock with her hands over her face after being at the heart of the attack on an apartment building in Dnipro on Saturday night.
Photos from the scene appeared to show her in tears as she was pulled from the wreckage by emergency services.
The 23-year-old went into shock when she realized she was all alone in the rubble
She was seen holding a green teddy bear and a festive garland as rescuers led her away from the building
She had enjoyed a meal with her parents in the kitchen just before the missile strike, but left for the bathroom to find her kitchen and her parents nowhere to be seen.
A photographer captured her horror shortly after the strike, seemingly when she realized she was alone.
She described having “no words… no emotions” in the aftermath of the attack as she posted messages to her followers from her hospital bed.
She sustained injuries to her head and legs and does not know if her parents survived the missile strike.
She added, “I want to see my parents. I have pain. do I exist?’
Russia launched a massive wave of missiles into Ukraine on Saturday evening after ending strikes during the Orthodox Christmas last week.
Putin officials claimed Ukrainian air defense systems hit their missile over Dnipro, deflecting it into the apartment building, but Ukrainian officials said they are unable to shoot down ballistic and cruise missiles.
Ms. Shvets tragically lost her husband to the war in Ukraine just months before last night’s attack.
She previously said, “I still can’t get over the fact that it’s been two weeks since I heard your voice and saw your smile.
‘When was the last time you told me how much you loved me? Everything was final, all dreams and our goals.’
Posting an update from her hospital bed, Ms Shvets could be seen still clutching the green dinosaur she had escaped from her apartment with
She shared photos of her strikingly minor injuries with her followers on Instagram
Ms. Shvets lost her husband (pictured) several months ago and it is not clear where her parents are at the moment
Ms Shvets wrote on Instagram on Sunday: ‘I have no words, I have no emotions, I feel nothing but a great emptiness inside’ (Photo: Ms Shvets before the attack)
At least 21 people died in the strike Ms Shvets, pictured on her Instagram, miraculously survived
A rescue mission in Dnipro continues after Russian missiles struck the building in the central Ukrainian city late last night.
Gripping footage from the crime scene shows survivors being pulled from the wreckage of the block’s remains, including those injured.
At least 35 people are still missing and 73 injured, Mykola Lukashuk, head of the regional council, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
“Fire in hell, Russian killers,” he wrote.
Regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said seven children were taken to hospital with serious injuries.
Ms Shvets wrote on Instagram on Sunday: ‘I have no words, I have no emotions, I feel nothing but a great emptiness inside.
‘I was not alive, but always existed. (…)
“I was covered by the door in the bed(room), part of the kitchen, bathroom, kitchen, hallway and utility room (how the “storage room” will be at home) is gone, there is an abyss and I see other parts of the entrance, someone else’s entrance.
“I am almost intact, despite the wound on my head and bare legs.
‘I don’t know where my parents are.
“They say they saw me alive, I’m sure they were in the kitchen, which is no longer there.
‘I didn’t want to escape, I wanted my parents found. I understand that Richard is gone. He barely survived.
“I remember my father’s stupid jokes today, how we took pictures of puppies with my mother today, ate my mother’s Udon.
“I became popular, although I didn’t want it, almost every public (media company) publishes (pictures of) me. And I want to see my parents.
‘I have pain. do I exist?’
Rescuers clear the rubble after a Russian missile hit a multi-storey building, leaving many people under the rubble in Dnipro, Ukraine, Saturday, January 14, 2023
Emergency services evacuate one person at the site of the rocket attack on Sunday morning
Rescue teams work among the rubble of a damaged residential building hit by shelling in Dnipro, southeastern Ukraine, January 14, 2023
Rescuers clear debris with many people trapped under the rubble in the southeastern city of Dnipro, Ukraine, January 14, 2023
Rescue workers on Sunday carried a woman rescued from the apartment building from the crime scene to a waiting ambulance
A Dnipro citizen cries as she watches firefighters and other rescue workers try to rescue survivors
Smoke was still billowing from the destroyed building on Sunday morning as firefighters continued to rescue those trapped
A rescue worker carries a live cat pulled from the wreckage to safety after the horrific attack
The death toll, currently 21, is likely to rise as dozens of people are feared still trapped under the rubble. Around lunchtime on Sunday, the city’s mayor said the chances of finding more survivors were already slim.
The entire block was obliterated into a mountain of brick and mortar, with twisted bits of charred metal scattered on nearby streets.
“They (Russians) are just inhumane. At least one stairwell has disappeared. Under the rubble are people who were at home during the holidays,” said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential office.
Firefighters were deployed to hose down the flames in the aftermath of the attack as rescuers began searching through the wreckage in hopes of finding survivors.