Mariupol: One used to live in a normal city, and now it seems to not exist
Yuliia Maksymenko was born on 25.09.1968 in Mariupol, Donetsk region. Her parents worked at the well-known Azovstal metallurgical plant. At school, she was interested in the humanities, in particular the Ukrainian language and history. In 1987, she began her studies at the Mariupol Metallurgical Institute, where she received a degree in power engineering. For fifteen years she worked as an accountant at the Azovstal metallurgical plant, and for the last ten years as an accountant in the restaurant business finance department. Yuliia Maksymenko’s usual peaceful life, like that of all Ukrainians, was interrupted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Mariupol has been and remains the hottest spot in Ukraine where military operations are underway. Moreover, the city has been occupied by hostile Russian troops for a long time. After experiencing all the horrors of war and realizing the unbearable nature of the situation, Yuliia Maksymenko managed to leave the occupied Mariupol only after two attempts. For a long time after arriving in Prague, Yuliia was in a very difficult psychological state, because a large number of Mariupol residents died before her eyes, including a significant number of children. Upon her arrival in the Czech Republic, Yuliia received another startling piece of news. An acquaintance who helped her leave Mariupol sent her a video a few days after she left, showing her house burning furiously, which had been completely destroyed by the occupiers. Therefore, even after the liberation of Mariupol, Yuliia Maksymenko, unfortunately, will have nowhere to return to, as the war has taken away her and her son’s home.