A traumatized mother told yesterday how she found her son decapitated by Russian missiles.
Yana Kovaliova cried as she spoke of the moment she found 18-year-old Mark decapitated in the street next to his dying girlfriend.
And the heartbroken mother swore his killers would be brought to justice at a war crimes trial.
She told The Sun on Sunday: “I fell to my knees and screamed when I found him like this – I screamed, ‘My son, my son, my son!’
“Splinters had chopped off his head as he bent down and tried to shield his girlfriend from the blasts.
“I recognized the hooded top he was wearing and saw he was reaching for his phone in his pocket when he was hit.
“The shock of seeing this left me speechless for 24 hours and I couldn’t eat or stop crying for three days.”
The attack took place in the flashed eastern city of Donetsk, which President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week described as being sent to “hell.”
Yana, who has now fled to southern Ukraine along with tens of thousands scarred by Vladimir Putin’s reign of terror, said: “No Ukrainian military was in the village as they launched rocket after rocket – bang, bang, bang, bang – and the last one hit my son.
“Putin and the Russians are terrorists and this was a war crime – and I want them all brought to justice.”
Mark – Yana’s only son – was walking with his girlfriend Katarina Sudaremko, also 18, to his mother’s house when they were caught in the rocket fire.
The tearful mum added: “My son was such a positive, happy young man who had studied hard and was looking forward to a career in the railroad.
“He came to us from his grandmother’s house with Katarina – a pretty girl who we were very fond of.
“And now both of their lives have been taken for nothing. The pain is just too great.”
Yana’s husband Anatoly – who is Mark’s stepfather – told how Putin’s barbaric terror came to the once-quiet urban village of Verkhniotoretsk near Donetsk.
Sister Yana was in her kitchen and builder Anatoly was nearby when a deafening explosion blasted through their windows, knocking her to the ground at 12:10 p.m. on March 15.
Anatoly told The Sun: “The first rocket landed in our neighbor’s garden and we both hit the ground.
“Then there was another huge bang and another, then another. I realized we were being attacked by multiple missiles.
“The impacts appeared to spread in a line down the road, and we are told that the final blast of the first salvo killed Mark and Katarina.
“I was waiting for a break, then I ran out with Yana and tried to find her, then a neighbor shouted, ‘I think Mark was hit’.
“We ran to the spot and there was screaming and chaos and blood everywhere, and then I saw Mark huddled like he was trying to shield Katarina.”
Pausing to light a cigarette with trembling hands, Anatoly continued: “I lifted the hood of his sweatshirt top and found nothing there.
“I still can’t bear to describe what I saw that day, but it will stay with me forever.
“Then I heard Yana’s terrible screams, followed by another sound – the sound of more Russian missiles exploding around us.
“We ducked for cover, then I ran back to find Katarina alive but horribly wounded. I knew she was dying and stayed with her until she breathed her last, then closed her eyes.”
The traumatized couple escaped the second barrage – believed to be another 24 rockets fired from Russian Grad rocket launchers miles away.
The barrage became so intense that Yana and Anatoly could not take the bodies of Mark and Katarina to a hospital and had to leave them in their yard.
The grieving couple then huddled in a basement as the house above them was destroyed by more explosions.
It was three days before they could move the bodies.
They were evacuated to Kramatorsk from where they arranged the funerals before fleeing south.
Her story is evidence of President Zelenskyy’s claim earlier this week that Russian forces were systematically decimating the Donbass region.
He said: “It’s hell out there – and that’s no exaggeration. Donbass is completely destroyed.”
The enclave suffered another blow yesterday when Russia claimed to have destroyed Western weapons en route east.
Sick Putin ‘needs 24-hour care’
VLADIMIR Putin is losing control of Russia as he has to interrupt meetings to get medical attention, a former British spy claims.
The dictator is constantly surrounded by a medical team and needs 24-hour surveillance, claims ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele
He said: “Security Council meetings that are shown to purport to last a full hour are actually divided into several sections… he goes out and receives some sort of medical treatment in between those sections.
“And so he’s clearly seriously ill, I mean how fatal or terminal it is isn’t clear … we can’t be entirely sure.”
There have been claims the Russian leader has cancer or Parkinson’s disease after footage surfaced of his hand shaking uncontrollably.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5393066/ukraine-soldier-russian-rocket-beheaded/ I fell to my knees and screamed to find my son decapitated by Russian missiles