We will never forget these crimes!”
Warning: Some of the images are disturbing.
Ukrainians have shown the world they will do anything to protect their country and their beloved pets – including horses.
While dogs and cats are easier to transport, horse owners are doing everything in their power to keep their horses safe as they look for a way to evacuate them.
Sadly, dozens have died as victims of war.
A horse stable in Gostomel, КСК Alexandria, was hit by Russian rockets and went up in flames with horses still inside. As the raging fire engulfed the stable, some of the horses were able to escape, but many were burned alive.
Sasha, the stable owner, and many others tried to reach the barn but were unable to due to the continued airstrikes and Russian troops blocking the area.
The stable posted the devastating news on Facebook and shared heartbreaking photos of some of the dead horses. “One of the stables was bombed, and our part of the horses were burned alive in the stalls. There was no one to save them, it was impossible to break through to them, because the rashists firmly settled in Bucha, Gostomel, Irpen, not letting ordinary girls in! to our horses. We loved our horses.”
The equestrian center was home to 32 horses, some owned by Sasha and others owned by boarders, who were housed in multiple stables. The smaller stable with 13 horses is the one that was bombed. Everyone is drowning in grief and many owners wrote tributes to their beloved “kids”.
Roman Rokytianskyy owned a sweet horse named Kubik who was unable to escape the fire. He wrote, “This was my friend Kubik who everyone loved because he gave everyone a piece of himself: for me he was a friend, for someone a teacher, someone called him a sweetie pie, and someone just stroked him and in return he licked everyone as he was a glorious well-wisher. Now he lays there…. I can’t express in words all the pain that sits inside me. But I truly believe that justice will be served!”
Another horse owner, Jeanne Fesina, wrote a heartfelt tribute to her horse. “Baby boy… You were ours with Roma the youngest… In your short life, I didn’t have time to show you much. Six months since you lived with us, we were able to give you our love and admiration. 24….. I even managed to take you for a walk, for the last time you saw a peaceful, blue sky. When the helicopters started flying and explosions rumbling, we calmed you down, asked you not to be afraid and said that this horror won’t last long. If you only knew…. we couldn’t protect and save you, forgive us if you can, there on the clouds. Green meadows to you, little gray panty with a big and kind heart. Pakistan 11.04.2018-08.03.2022”.
The other stable held 19 horses and all have been released.
Elena Kazakova holds on to hope that her horse is still alive. She said, “Bucephalus, I believe and will continue to believe that you are alive. Im not ready to let you go. You promised me that we’d be together until 30 years old. You are a Bucephalus! Come on out, please. And I will find you.”
Alexandra Pelikhovskaya’s two horses are still missing and she wrote, “We are looking for them as we can, but every day there is less hope. All around is replaced, there are constant dense shelling of different types of weapons. Both Russians and ours are shooting. This is what war looks like. From the moment we saw these photos, we live like with a spear in our heart. It takes effort to take a breath. But you can only overcome evil with good.”
There are still many horses unaccounted for and hopefully they are alive and safe. The center said, “We’re looking for our Horses! I hope they got far from the shelling! And they go somewhere far away eating grass. I care about every information i️ any lead so that I know where to follow! I’m awake and reply as quickly as possible at any time of day. Hope for your support for information. Glory to Ukraine!”
Sasha is not only heartbroken but infuriated by the loss. “We will never forget these crimes,” she posted. “My eyes are not filled with tears, they are filled with blood and hatred!!! I didn’t sleep, didn’t eat, worried, prepared everything to pick up my kids, but I couldn’t.”
She is determined to help as many horses as possible escape the “hell” they are in. “This hell started 3.5 km from my stable. I didn’t think it could be like this in the 21st century. that’s horrible. we do and help everyone. I can’t help myself since there is no road there, I help friends I know from the stables, I drive horses from the war zone, where it’s more calm but not quiet. we try. everything will be Ukraine!”
As owners continue to search for their horses, Ukrainian Horse Union shared what to do if people spot a loose horse.
The Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation is working with FEI (International Equestrian Federation) to help Ukrainian horses by sending food, supplies, and helping to arrange transportation. Countless horse stables in other countries have offered to take in horses but now the problem is getting them there.
Irpin and surrounding areas are considered a “red zone” surrounded by Russian troops and have no clear path to enter or exit. Dozens of horses are trapped in the area, and many are resorting to setting them free to give them a chance at surviving.
Sasha told us, “We will restore as hell ends and make monuments to my horses, which are gone.”
Our hearts break for them and we hope the horses that escaped are safe and someday soon will be reunited with their owners.
Join us in helping feed and care for people and pets in Ukraine by donating here.