Irpin, once a commuter city in the Kyiv region, is now smoke and rubble with only the most vulnerable people still living there.
Those who could leave the city fled in a rush. There is a long line of abandoned cars in front of the bridge in Romanivka, the main route out of the city.
On Friday (1 April 2022), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) managed to visit Irpin, which normally has a population of around 60,000 people, to help the thousands of people still trapped. They are the homeless, the elderly or those with limited mobility.
ICRC's Alyona Synenko said: "We think there might be 3,500 people and the priority is to see what the situation is like for them right now.”
The city's pastor, Michail, guided the ICRC team. “Water is a huge problem," he said. "People are getting water from the wells, wherever they can still find it.” The ICRC will be supporting the Water Board to restore the water supply system to the entire city.
Many are trying to survive in their damaged houses. They need water, food and generators to charge their phones.
In its first visit to the city since the escalation, the ICRC delivered food, and hopes to return with more essential supplies on Monday and Tuesday (4 and 5 April). This will most likely include plastic sheets and tarpaulins for quick repairs to houses. However, it is only possible to enter the town in land cruisers. Trucks are too dangerous due to the many unexploded ordnance that litter the streets.
The military hospital has been heavily damaged and is empty. The only medical professional left in the area is an ophthalmologist who is now treating war-wounded patients. The ICRC medical team in Irpin provided first aid to people and the team evacuated one homeless person in a critical condition.
The man had spent many days without food and has advanced gangrene on both legs. It is not a war-related injury, but because of the conflict, he had not been able to reach a doctor. He was taken to a safer area where there was a SESU ambulance (State Emergency Service of Ukraine). The ICRC will aim to evacuate more critical medical cases in the coming days.
Location: Irpin, Ukraine
Location: Irpin, Ukraine
Date Of Filming: 01.04.2022
Copyright: ICRC access all
On Screen Credit: ICRC written or logo attached to story
SOUNDBITE Alyona Synenko, ICRC, Ukraine (in English)
0:00 “My name is Alyona from the ICRC. We are now on the way to Irpin, a town on the outskirts of Kyiv. The town was affected by heavy fighting and we are going to distribute food there and assess the humanitarian situation. We think there might be 3500 people and the priority is to see what the situation is like for them right now.”
0:26 Line of abandoned cars in front of the bridge in Romanivka, the main way out of the town.
0:38 Damaged homes
SOUNDBITE Michail, Irpin’s pastor, in front of car (in Ukranian)
0:56 "People are getting water. Water is a huge problem. People are getting water from the wells, where they can still find it."
1:02 ICRC medical staff
1:12 Damaged buildings
1:54 ICRC medical staff delivering boxes of food
2:01 ICRC team walking amidst the rubble
2:12 ICRC medical team treating homeless man
3:03 ICRC taking patient to ambulance
3:09 destruction as seen from car