Berliner TageBlatt - Mini Spiderman flees Irpin amid bodies and bombs

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Mini Spiderman flees Irpin amid bodies and bombs
Mini Spiderman flees Irpin amid bodies and bombs / Foto: © AFP

Mini Spiderman flees Irpin amid bodies and bombs

The family still has another 500 metres (1,640 feet) of open land to cross, under a Russian artillery fire, before they reach the van waiting to evacuate them.


Behind them is Irpin, a small town on the western outskirts of Kyiv reduced to smouldering ruins by several days of shelling.

The youngest child, a little boy in a Spiderman hat with a school satchel on his back, makes his way gingerly along a plank across a river underneath a bombed-out concrete bridge. He is holding on tightly to his father's hand.

Spiderman's older brother struggles along behind lugging a suitcase, a cat under one arm. Both parents are weighed down with bags.

On the other side, Ukrainian soldiers help them scramble up a slope. Just then a salvo of artillery fire splits the air and a bomb lands only 100 metres away, spewing a plume of smoke and earth 20 metres into the air.

Once over the embankment they run, terrified, along an open road towards the white van waiting to ferry them under the bombs to the refugee reception area a kilometre away.

But as he reaches the van, Spiderman glances down and sees the two bodies. They have only just been covered by a blanket.

They were two civilians, fleeing along the same route as the family -- killed by Russian fire a few minutes earlier, exactly where the van is waiting.

One is lying on his back, his suitcase still standing upright beside him. Next to the other is a cat basket. There is no sound or movement from inside it.

When they reach the reception centre, a yellow school bus will ferry them straight to the station and a train to the west.

For now, they are safe.