War in Ukraine: Cambridge professor thinks mother is in mass grave

Kirilenko, Andrei

The mother of a professor at the University of Cambridge may be interred in a mass grave in Ukraine, the professor has expressed concern.

Svetlana Kirilenko, the 85-year-old mother of Andrei Kirilenko, passed away in Mariupol, but a year after the war started, he hasn't been able to learn what happened to her.

On March 11, neighbors discovered her body and moved it into a chilly garage before they had to flee.

It took several months for Prof. Kirilenko to receive an update.

Image of Andrei Kirilenko's 85-year-old mother Svetlana
Svetlana Kirilenko, the 85-year-old mother of Andrei Kirilenko, passed away in Ukraine in 2017.

The eastern Donbas region, which experienced some of the heaviest Russian bombardment, was home to Mrs. Kirilenko, who lived in the important port city. .

Early in March, during their last conversation, Prof. Kirilenko expressed his belief that his mother was aware that this was her final farewell.

Andrei Kirilenko's mother
According to Prof. Kirilenko, this picture of his mother was taken the year she attended college in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

His mother had passed away and had been buried, according to a phone call he later received from his native country.

They managed to communicate that some of them managed to go back, burying my mother somewhere, despite the fact that it is dangerous for people in Ukraine to get in touch with anyone who doesn't have a Russian phone number.

According to satellite images, the city of Mariupol is essentially surrounded by fields of mass graves where hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have died.   .

"My mother is thus buried somewhere among those graves. ".

Seeing people line up for miles to see Queen Elizabeth II lie in state last year brought back memories of the death of his own mother, according to the finance professor at Cambridge Judge Business School.

"The chapter hasn't ended for me," he said, "because in some ways it was pageantry, but in other ways it was a very human experience that I haven't gone through.".

Not just for me, that still hurts. Millions of people have similar stories to mine. ".

Mariupol graves
Prof. Kirilenko is unsure of his mother's final resting place.

Prof. Kirilenko expressed his concerns that the war will drag on at the one-year mark since it was invaded Ukraine. .

"What we observe is that both sides are arming themselves more heavily, fighting more frequently, and losing more lives.

He declared, "The Russian government has gone and recruited hundreds of thousands of their own citizens, some of whom were sent into battle unprepared.".

"It grinds meat. Even I don't know what it's for. These are aged, prosperous men. They acquire what?

"Neither will they get any younger or make any more money from this. actually losing money," he continued. .

"Everyone views them as evil individuals, so they won't gain any more glory from this. " .

Local residents walk past an apartment building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol
Residents of Mariupol, a port city in southern Ukraine, walk past an apartment building that was destroyed during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

However, having spent years resolving financial crises for the International Monetary Fund, he is now working with other Ukrainians - some from bomb shelters - on a strategy to aid in the reconstruction of the nation's economy after the conflict is over.

He continued, "It's important because a lot of money will be needed to rebuild the country, and it must be safeguarded and put to good use so it doesn't end up in the pockets of a small group of people who will profit from the tragedy and pain of this for all of us.

The economic strategy should be "designed by Ukrainians," said Prof. Kirilenko, adding, "It's your country. For it, members of your nation have died.

. "

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