She saw the tank on news coverage of the war while in the UK (Picture: Reuters)
A Ukrainian refugee who fled to the UK said she recognised her own stolen possessions in a photo of a Russian tank.
Alina Koreniuk left her home in Popasna, east Ukraine, on April 8 and is now living in Nottingham with a British couple.
Her husband first spotted that a photo from their town looked familiar, and showed it to her.
‘He said: “Do you notice anything strange about this photo,” and asked me if I saw what he saw in it,’ Alina told the BBC.
They recognised the items being carried on top of the tank, including a tablecloth from their summer house, a red blanket and new Disney bedsheets.
As well, they spotted a cardboard box which Alina said contained a new boiler they had ordered before the war and not installed yet.
She believes the sheets were used to cover up electronic items they were forced to leave behind.
But Alina said she wasn’t shocked to see her possessions on the top of a Russian tank.
She recognised the patterns on sheets and blankets from their home (Picture: Reuters)
‘Our reaction was that whatever they hadn’t destroyed they would steal,’ she told the broadcaster.
‘We expected houses in Popasna to be looted, we’d been told many times about this.’
The street the photo was taken on is just five minutes from her home, she added.
Alina, a policewoman and former child psychologist, fled to another part of Ukraine on February 24 along with daughters daughters Kristina, 12, and Olha, eight.
Her husband, mother, and grandmother are still in Ukraine. She told how her mother also left home and had to leave her dog behind, believing it now killed by shrapnel or Russian forces.
There have been accusations of looting from Russian forces for months.
Smoke rises in the city of Severodonetsk during heavy fighting yesterday (Picture: Getty)
Russian website Mediazona estimated that 58 tons of parcels had been sent from Ukraine into Russia and Belarus, with little going in the other direction.
Alina’s city of Popasna is in the Severodonetsk region, where Russia is currently pushing an offensive.
The area is key to Moscow’s efforts to complete the capture of the industrial Donbas region.
‘The city is essentially being destroyed ruthlessly block by block,’ mayor Oleksandr Striuk said.
He said heavy street fighting continued and artillery barrages threatened the lives of the estimated 13,000 civilians still sheltering in the ruined city that once was home to more than 100,000.
The mayor said more than 1,500 residents have died of various causes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February. Evacuation efforts have been halted because of shelling.
‘Civilians are dying from direct strikes, from fragmentation wounds and under the rubble of destroyed buildings, since most of the inhabitants are hiding in basements and shelters,’ Mr Striuk said.
Electricity has been cut off and people need water, food and medicine, and the mayor added: ‘There are food supplies for several more days, but the issue is how to distribute them.’
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