Before the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Kra Obedinsky was a happy, beloved 12-year-old girl. Now an orphan, wounded and alone in a Russian-controlled hospital in eastern Ukraine, he became an unknown soldier in Moscow’s information war.
Obadinsky’s mother died when she was a child. His father, Yevgen Obedinsky, a former captain of Ukraine’s national water polo team, was shot dead on March 17 during a battle with Russian forces in the southeastern city of Mariupol.
A few days later, Kraw and his father’s girlfriend tried to leave the city on foot with a neighbor. But after he was injured in an explosion from a landmine, Kra was taken to a hospital in the Donetsk region, which is controlled by pro-Moscow separatists.
Now Crowe’s grandfather, Alexander, fears he will never see her again. He said a government official who had left Donetsk had been contacted by phone and asked to go there to claim that it was impossible because of the war.
He spoke at the hospital and was told Kira would be sent to an orphanage in Russia. They took her documents, and she said Krao would be given new ones in Russia.
The Russian government says it has helped evacuate at least 60,000 Ukrainians to safer areas along the Russian border. The Ukrainian government says about 40,000 people have been relocated against their will, which it describes as kidnapping and forced deportation.
The Russian media, which has repeatedly underestimated the brutality of the conflict in Ukraine, has shown a video of Kira happily talking about how she is sometimes allowed to call her grandfather.
According to a Russian TV presenter, this is “evidence” that he was not abducted, and he called the claim another “Ukrainian fake.”
Meanwhile, Olexander receives an audio message from Grove telling him not to cry. But the young woman who lost her family, freedom and home in the Russian war cannot stop her tears.
“I haven’t seen you in so many days,” she says. “I have to cry.”
“Lifelong social media lover. Falls down a lot. Creator. Devoted food aficionado. Explorer. Typical troublemaker.”