'I will never forget you! I wish you happiness in heaven. I wish you to go to heaven. We will meet in heaven,' the child wrote.
As Russia's invasion of Ukraine enters day 50, the heartbreaking words of a young girl who lost her mother in the ravaged city of Borodyanka are tugging at people's heartstrings. Anton Gerashchenko—an advisor and a former deputy minister at Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs—last week took to Twitter to share a photo of the 9-year-old girl's letter to her mother scrawled in a day planner. According to PEOPLE, the March 8 letter is signed "Galia." While it's unclear how the official came into possession of the letter, Galia's words have prompted more calls for an immediate end to the war.
Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 50 of the invasion https://t.co/37fZA4aZrT— The Guardian (@guardian) April 14, 2022
"Mom, this letter is your present," Galia wrote, according to a translation. "If you think that you nurtured me for no reason, you are not right. Thank you for the 9 years of my life. Thank you so much for my childhood. You are the best mother in the world! I will never forget you! I wish you happiness in heaven. I wish you to go to heaven. We will meet in heaven. I will try to behave myself to go to heaven. Kissing you." Galia's emotional words struck a chord with people across the world, who lamented the human toll behind the conflict in Ukraine.
Here's the letter from 9-old girl to her mom who died in #Borodianka.— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) April 8, 2022
You're the best mom in the whole world. I'll never forget you. I wish you'll get in Heaven and be happy there. I'll do my best to be a good person and get in Heaven too. See you in Heaven!
Galia xx". pic.twitter.com/07l7vfQxM4
"The situation of this child especially without a mother is heartbreaking. I can imagine this child's turmoil. Shame on the Russian army for not respecting people's innocence," tweeted @KZohu. "How long children would be made orphans, parents to lose children, couples to mourn on spouses... Can sanity prevail ever? Murdering humans and annihilating every other thing for a show of might and subjugation of weak," wrote @MAmin77816818. "This is not only heartbreaking but shameful on the mankind who could have chosen humanity over violence," tweeted @SushmaPrabhu7.
Borodyanka today. An absolute tragedy pic.twitter.com/OMLF8eoEuv— Anastasiia Lapatina (@lapatina_) April 10, 2022
Borodyanka is among those parts of Ukraine where some of the worst destruction has occurred since Russia began its assault on the nation. According to The Guardian, although Ukrainian officials are still counting the death toll in Borodyanka, officials put "conservative" estimates at 5,000. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the destruction in the city "much more disastrous" than in the neighboring city of Bucha, which emerged as an example of Russian brutality after their withdrawal from the area late last month. Scenes of mass graves and decomposing bodies in the streets were discovered by Ukrainian forces and Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov reported more than 400 dead in a video address.
Borodyanka.— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) April 13, 2022
One can literally film scenes for movies about the Hiroshima blast in some part of the town. pic.twitter.com/LrM4eKvCDg
Posting photos of the aftermath in Borodyanka on Twitter, Illia Ponomarenko, a reporter for the Kyiv Independent, wrote: "One can literally film scenes for movies about the Hiroshima blast in some part of the town." Meanwhile, President Joe Biden on Tuesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine "genocide." According to CNBC, Biden was speaking at an event about inflation in Iowa when he blamed Putin for recent price hikes at the pump. "Your family budget, your ability to fill up your tank, none of it should hinge on whether a dictator declares war and commits genocide half a world away," he said.
When President Biden declares Russia's Ukraine war “genocide,” it isn't just another strong word. A treaty approved by the U.N. after World War II could carry obligations to act. https://t.co/54oZA1xKym— The Associated Press (@AP) April 14, 2022
Although he later acknowledged that the legal definition of "genocide" was separate from his impression of what's going on in Ukraine, the president did not revise his initial assessment. "We're going to only learn more and more about the devastation, and we'll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies" as genocide under international law. "But it sure seems that way to me," said Biden. The statement drew immediate praise from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who tweeted: "True words of a true leader @POTUS. Calling things by their names is essential to stand up to evil. We are grateful for US assistance provided so far and we urgently need more heavy weapons to prevent further Russian atrocities."