In memoriam to Olena Stolpakova

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Olena's home after the attack
Olena’s home in Izyum after the attack
In memoriam to Elena Stolpakova and her family. Forest Burial.
In memoriam to Elena Stolpakova and her family. Forest Burial.

Above image attributions: Image one. Image two.

You can read this article via Google Translate in Russian, Polish and Ukrainian.

In memoriam to Olena Stolpakova – Summary

A heartbreaking story to come out of Ukraine.

A Ukrainian man spent months digging through the wreckage of an apartment block to find the body of a close friend from his school days. Pavlo Holub lives in Izyum, and he carried out this work during the six-month Russian occupation of the town before it was liberated by Ukrainian forces in September. During this time, Holub says he was also ordered by a Moscow-appointed official to bury 17 Ukrainian soldiers in a mass grave.

Source: Copyright (c)2022 RFE/RL, Inc. Used with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036. Link to the Radio Free Europe article. Dated 01 December 2022.

Olena Stolpakova and Pavlo Holub

Pavlo used to attend school in Izyum with Olena Stolpakova, who together with her family, was in the block of flats when it was bombed. The bombing caused the collapse of the five-story block and crushed everyone in the bomb shelter beneath the block.

Initially, Russian troops did not allow anyone to search for bodies. When permission was finally given, progress was painfully slow due to lack of rescue equipment. In the film, Pavlo shows us their class graduation album, which was in the rubble when he found her. He leaves through the album, showing us memories from happier times.

This album was left for us as a memento. A quote by Pavlo from the story.

Pavlo buried Olena, her children and family in a mass burial site in a forest.

The associated YouTube video is Pavlo’s story

In memoriam to Olena Stolpakova. 1991 – 2022.

Reburial of Olena and her family

The Find a Grave website reports that Olena and her family have been reburied at Izyum’s Central Cemetery.

Further reporting with video: Ukrainska Pravda

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