ZAPORIZHZHIA (Ukraine) — A 27-year-old student says she is trapped in eastern Ukraine as Russian forces invade.
Zoe Inutu is in Zaporizhzhia, a city west of Donetsk, alone in her apartment. She said despite being urged to leave by her government in Zambia, Africa, she is unable to return home because transportation in eastern Ukraine has been shut down.
“My city is in the eastern part of Ukraine, where everything right now is happening,” Inutu said. “We got the confirmation from our president today, the Zambian president, that we should evacuate from this place. But now, unfortunately, I cannot move out of my city because all the transportation to a different city has been closed up. So I’m just stuck in my apartment, not knowing what to do.”
Inutu said was initially unable to use her card to withdraw money from an ATM. That has since changed, but she said the lines are still very long as Ukrainians scramble to buy food and other necessities.
“The ATMs were not working for me to get any money to buy foodstuffs and everything. Not until later in the afternoon, as you saw in the video where I had access to see people withdrawing money from the ATMs,” Inutu said. “That actually took so long, because there were a lot of queues where people were struggling to just get a little money in order to get food from the stores.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says 137 civilians and military personnel have been killed so far in the Russian invasion of his country.
Ukrainian forces braced for more attacks after enduring a Russian barrage of land- and sea-based missiles, an attack that one senior U.S. defense official described as the first salvo in what is likely to be a multi-phase invasion aimed at seizing key population centers, “decapitating” Ukraine’s government and installing a new one. Already, Ukraine officials said they had lost control of the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.