Olena Kourilo, protagonist of the symbolic photo of the bombings: «Living under Putin? Never: better to die “

Of Chiara Severgnini

The face of Olena Kourilo, 52, has traveled the world: she was wounded in the bombing of Cuhuv, 40 km from the city of Kharkiv, in the east of the country. And today she says: I was lucky. You will always and only be next to my homeland

The face of Olena Kourilo, 52, has been bleeding since yesterday when he was hit by a window shattered by a missile. happened when Cuhuv, his city, was hit by Russian aviation missiles on February 24: the bombing caused at least one casualty and destroyed or damaged many buildings. Including the house of Kourilo, who works as a teacher and which, from today, has also become a symbol of the attack launched by Russia on Ukraine. The photo of his bloody face, covered in bandages, went around the world: this morning it was also on the front page of Corriere della Sera.

After being treated in the hospital, Kourilo was interviewed by the agency
AFP French press and related the bombing: I could only think “My God, I’m not ready to die”. I was in shock, I didn’t even feel pain, maybe because of the adrenaline. I was lucky, she added to BfmTv microphones, I must have a very strong guardian angel up there: my house was destroyed, not even a window left and even the floor was devastated. Cuhuv has about 30,000 inhabitants and is located just under 40 km from Kharkiv, one of the cities in the east of the country most affected by the bombings. Kourilo explains that he heard that the same bombing, in the building next door, caused the death of a 13-year-old girl. His words are pained, but also resolute. I didn’t think we could go this far, he recognizes him, but I will do everything for Ukraine, as long as I can and with all the energy I have. I will always and only be next to my homeland. Living under Putin? Never, under any conditions: it is better to die.

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