Ukrainians and dogs walk 225 kilometers from Mariupol to a safe zone

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A Ukrainian man and his dog escaped by traveling 225 kilometers from the war zone to Zaporizhzhia. What makes the trip even more special is that the man left Mariupol heavily besieged, writes The Guardian Friday.

Pedin, 61, made the decision to leave on April 20 and started walking three days later. By then, Mariupol had been shelled for two months and encircled for almost the same amount of time. “But I left because the Russians approached my house and executed people during searches,” he said.

The Ukrainian managed to escape from the town avoiding other Russian soldiers who were distributing food and water to the townspeople. Speaking to the British newspaper, he says it took him hours alone to leave the city and he saw countless bodies, impact craters and destroyed buildings. This while there are only 5 kilometers between his house and the outskirts of the city.

Pedin says he had to balance along chasms and watch out for landmines, while carrying his nine-year-old dog Zhu-Zhu and 50 kilograms of luggage. “On a bridge, I had to tie Zhu-Zhu to my belly and walk 30 meters on a narrow beam,” he quotes. The Guardian this.

According to Pedin, fleeing Ukrainians are intimidated by Russian troops and pro-Russian separatists. For example, he briefly fell into the hands of separatists along the way and he was only allowed to continue traveling after they gave him a new “passport”.

Incidentally, it is not known how long Pedin will be safe in Zaporizhzhia: the city is currently preparing for a major battle against the Russians.

The journey that man made from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia.

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