Ukrainian refugee from Popasna spots looted possessions on Russian tankon May 31, 2022 at 11:40 am

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The Ukrainian says she recognises items from her house on a Russian tank, including a new boiler.

Russian tank in Popasna carrying boxes - 26 May

Image source, Reuters

A Ukrainian refugee in the UK says she recognises items apparently looted from her house sitting on top of a Russian tank in a recent photo.

Alina Koreniuk says the box in the photo contains a new boiler she planned to install before the war started.

She and her children left Ukraine on 8 April and are staying with a British couple in Nottinghamshire.

The picture, taken in late May, shows the tank moving past bombed residential buildings in the town of Popasna.

Russian forces have been in control of the town, in the Luhansk region, since 8 May.

Many residents of occupied areas of Ukraine have complained of looting by Russian troops.

Ms Koreniuk says the photo was taken on a street just five minutes away from her house.

It was originally spotted by her husband.

“He said: ‘Do you notice anything strange about this photo,’ and asked me if I saw what he saw in it,” she told the BBC.

Apart from the boiler, other items on the tank include an oilcloth table cloth from the family’s summer house, new Disney bedsheets for her children and a red blanket, she says.

Close up shows looted possessions on a Russian tank

Image source, Reuters

The bed linen was used to cover something, Ms Koreniuk added, probably a TV or other electronic equipment, all of which had been left at the house when they were forced to leave.

But she wasn’t surprised by what had happened.

“Our reaction was that whatever they hadn’t destroyed they would steal,” she said.

“We expected houses in Popasna to be looted, we’d been told many times about this.”

Ms Koreniuk has been staying in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, with her daughters Kristina, 12, and Olha, eight, under the UK government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme since leaving Ukraine.

Their hosts are thought to be among the first in the country to register for the scheme.

Alina (R) with her mother

Image source, Alina Koreniuk

A policewoman and former child psychologist, Ms Koreniuk and her family left Popasna on 24 February when the invasion began. Shelling had already started in the area.

The family took very few of their possessions when they left. Her mother was forced to leave behind a pet dog, which was killed either by shrapnel or by the occupying forces.

Her mother, grandmother and husband are still in Ukraine but in relative safety.


War in Ukraine: More coverage

Map showing area around Severodonetsk, updated 29 May
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