Anna Sokolova
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Ukrainians affected by profound personal loss reach out to Western companies that refuse to cut business ties with the aggressor state and continue to pay taxes to the Kremlin, thus helping fund Russia’s unprovoked war of aggression. Together with partners, B4Ukraine collected numerous stories of personal loss from ordinary Ukrainians and their plea to Western multinationals to exit Russia as soon as possible.

Hi, everybody! I am 9-year-old Anna Sokolova from Mariupol. The entire time that our city was bombed by the Russians my mom Yana and I were hiding at home. We tried to get out of Mariupol twice and both times the enemy stopped us.

One of the explosions broke windows and doors in our apartment so we had to go down to the basement for the night. My mom counted the shells that hit our building and fell nearby – she counted at least 17 in one day.

At around 4 AM our building couldn’t withstand anymore – the panels over the basement collapsed right onto us. My legs got stuck. Mom tried to save me but she couldn’t pull me out. She got out of the basement carrying a surviving little girl while I stayed behind and waited to be rescued. I waited in vain. The men my mom called to get me out couldn`t do it. Not long after that, the whole building collapsed. I and five other people got buried in the basement.

I was the only daughter of my mom and dad and they put all of their efforts into their child. At 4 they put me in a drawing class because they saw that I had a talent for it. I could have sat there for hours creating something on paper. I got ideas from my imagination. I also took dancing classes and in the 1st grade I signed myself up for a model school.

I liked working at the computer and enhancing my skills. Mom promised me that when I turn 10 she would enroll me in a computer class. I enjoyed school, it came easy to me. On the margins of my Math homework, I used to draw comics. Maybe, I could have become a famous artist.

My body was left in the basement of the destroyed building for two months. Only after that, they were able to bury me and not even in the cemetery but in our family’s backyard… My mom sometimes recalls that I didn’t want to grow up, I liked being a child – I told her so myself. In the end, I wasn’t destined to grow up, this opportunity was stolen from me.

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