Ukraine War: This woman is fighting her own battle against Putin – and all she needs is her cell phone | world news
Is there any other way to fight the Russian army, if you don’t dress in military fatigues or don’t have a weapon?
The research director of a think tank called UA Experts thinks she’s found a way, armed with a smartphone, a social media account and years of legal training.
Her name is Maria Avdeeva and we started listening to her reports from Kharkiv, the beleaguered Ukrainian city just 20 miles from the Russian border.
She posts daily updates on bombed buildings in and around the city center, often as shells and rockets echo around her.
Residents of Kharkiv cover the monument to Shevchenko with sandbags to protect themselves from Russian airstrikes. I saw volunteers arrive, offering to help protect the symbol of the Ukrainian nation, while Russian troops bombarded the city. The historical moment of this war. pic.twitter.com/gQ9MlpAPVr
— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) March 26, 2022
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“Hello, Maria Avdeeva from Kharkiv, UkraineMarch 18,” one said.
“I went out today to look for food and then the shelling started again, it started this morning and (it) went on and on, and I hid in this building which was actually a center of business.”
In the video, Maria climbs the stairs of a 19th century building before revealing a devastated office with desks, chairs and computers covered in dust and glass.
“I’m just (struck) by what I see,” she says. “People were running out of here, leaving everything (behind). They didn’t do anything with them, they left everything here.”
His voice trails off with an anguished tone.
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Ms Avdeeva went to war against Vladimir Putin with a strategic goal in mind.
She is determined to document the bombing of Kharkiv knowing that the destruction will be denied by the Russian government and its state-controlled media.
“Russia is using cluster bombs here in Kharkiv, destroying residential buildings and the historic center. What you see behind me is what Russian state media and propaganda channels are calling (a) a ‘special military operation’, they deny the fact of the war in Ukraine,” she said in her March 16 edition.
The security analyst’s phone reveals a long line of stores with their windows blown out.
“Someone has to be active on this battlefield to show the truth”
Ms Avdeeva has garnered a large following on Twitter with this reporting project, providing facts and commentary in a city where half a million or more people have fled.
“Someone has to be active in this information battlefield, to show the truth, what is really happening,” she said from the battered streets of Kharkiv.
“Because this information battlefield is (of) the same importance as military operations on the ground.”
Ms. Avdeeva took us to the northern outskirts of the city, just a few kilometers from the line that separates Russian and Ukrainian troops.
A residential compound serving the staff of a nearby academic institution, the Institute of Physics and Technology, had been partially destroyed.
The Russians accuse scientists here of working on nuclear and biological weapons, and Russian forces fired rockets at a building at the site two weeks ago. In the latest attack, three apartments were destroyed, their contents exposed to the world like a child’s dollhouse.
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As Ms. Avdeeva finished her report, an artillery shell sounded throughout the neighborhood. Surprised, she checked that she was safe.
“We don’t have other people coming here to fight for us, it’s only us who are fighting for Ukraine, we’re asking for help from the West, but on the ground it won’t be than us and if we all leave, who will fight for Ukraine?” she asked.
“So you stay,” I said.
“Yeah, that’s why I’m staying,” she replied.