One of the hind legs of a frightened-looking cow at a farm in the north of Ukraine has been limping ever since it was torn by shrapnel in a Russian bombardment, which is an attack that has been repeated on farms all throughout the nation ever since the conflict started.
The infant, who was only four months old at the time, lived through bombardments that killed almost one-third of the animals at the meat and dairy plant in Mala Rogan, a town located around 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of Kharkiv, which is the second largest city in Ukraine.
The owner, 62-year-old Lyubov Zlobina, remembers that it was a “horror,” and that she is “haunted by the moans of cows burnt alive” as a result of the assaults that took place on March 26.
“I grasp on to this little miracle,” she continued, referring to the wounded cow, with the distant thuds of shelling resounding in the background. “I cling on to this little miracle,” she added. “I grip on to this little miracle.”
She went on to say, “I gave her medicines twice, but unfortunately the wound is still bleeding, and she is not putting on weight.”
If we were able to remove the shard, there is a chance that she may become well. “We’d have to transport her a very long distance for surgery, and we just can’t do that,” Zlobina remarked, clearly concerned by the situation.
Mala Rogan was taken prisoner by Russian troops during the early stages of the conflict. They have since been driven back, but in their wake a hellish landscape has been left behind.
The media team from AFP was shown a number of movies that were recorded during the assaults by Zlobina’s husband, who fought in the Soviet army in Afghanistan.
“We were going in every direction out of the shed,” remembered Mykolai Zlobin, 57, while recalling how the hay in the shed erupted into flames.
They were forced to use a tractor to break down a section of the wall in order to free the cows who were trapped inside, all while explosions were going off all around the terrified herd.
Zlobina said, “I attempted to rescue a couple piglets, but their moms were shielding them beneath their bellies.” She added that the chickens continued to coo and peck as if nothing was occurring even though they were being attacked.
A farm worker named Yulia Koval, who was 38 years old at the time, said that a portion of the roof collapsed as she was attempting to get calves out of a farm building.
We were unable to complete the task since everything in our immediate environment was in disarray. She claims that we were too rushed to give it any thought at the moment. The only thing on our minds was to try to rescue them.
Since then, humans have been forced to euthanize animals who have sustained severe injuries.