HARRIET LINE meets the mother-of-one who suffered horrifying injuries when an anti-tank mine blew up


Russian blast shattered my legs, but I’ll do anything to get fit… and go back into battle: HARRIET LINE meets the brave mother-of-one, 33, who suffered horrifying injuries when an anti-tank mine blew up car bringing her back from Ukraine’s frontline

  • The mother-of-one’s foot was hanging off and there was blood everywhere 
  • The army signaller was injured on June 2 and is planning her return to combat
  • Ukraine will need her back: about 500 of its troops are being injured everyday
  • Yuliia was a passenger in an SUV bringing a soldier back from the frontline 

When an anti-tank mine blew up the car bringing Corporal Yuliia Rymarenko back from Ukraine’s frontline, she was sure she had lost her legs.

The mother-of-one’s foot was hanging off and there was blood everywhere, but she remained calm: ‘I was morally prepared for it – it is war and it can happen.’

She is lucky to be alive – and even more so to still have her legs.

‘At best, the recovery from my injuries will take four to six months,’ Yuliia tells the Daily Mail from her hospital bed in Dnipro. 

‘After that, I will return to my unit. But I hope that by that time, we will have won the war.’

The army signaller’s steely determination is jarring: she was injured on June 2 and is already planning her return to combat.

When an anti-tank mine blew up the car bringing Corporal Yuliia Rymarenko back from Ukraine’s frontline, she was sure she had lost her legs

‘I will undergo rehabilitation in Lviv. My six-year-old daughter Kira will stay here in Dnipro with her grandmothers because I want to recover as quickly as possible and she could distract me.’

Ukraine will need her back: about 500 of its troops are being injured everyday, and up to 100 a day are dying. Yuliia, 33, admits it is tough on the frontline and wants the West to do more.

Russia, she says, has more manpower and equipment. ‘But they do not care about people – they are cannon fodder for them. They’ll throw them at us until there’s none of them. But there are a lot of them.’

The same is not true for Ukrainians, she says. ‘We stand on our land. We fight for it.’ 

Over five years of service and four rotations in the Donbas, Yuliia has seen the horrors Russian troops inflict on civilians. 

She explains her brigade evacuated a six-year-old girl from Trostianets, north west of Kharkiv, after Russian forces refused to let her go despite being heavily wounded.

The mother-of-one’s foot was hanging off and there was blood everywhere, but she remained calm: ‘I was morally prepared for it – it is war and it can happen’

The mother-of-one’s foot was hanging off and there was blood everywhere, but she remained calm: ‘I was morally prepared for it – it is war and it can happen’

‘There are no good Russians,’ she concludes. ‘They are not humans – they are animals. They received no orders to torture people or to loot – they do it at their own initiative. Actually, animals are better than them.’

Yuliia was a passenger in an SUV bringing a soldier back from the frontline in the Kharkiv region, where Ukrainian forces are pushing back the invaders, when she was wounded on June 2.

‘The wheel from my side ran over the mine. I broke my legs in several places, as well as my foot,’ she says. 

Her car door would not open because of the explosion, and her comrades dragged her out, tourniqueted her legs and injected her with antihaemorrhagic drugs. 

‘I could feel that my foot was hanging… I thought there would be an amputation. At first I couldn’t feel my legs but then they started to burn…

Yuliia was a passenger in an SUV bringing a soldier back from the frontline in the Kharkiv region, where Ukrainian forces are pushing back the invaders, when she was wounded on June 2

Yuliia was a passenger in an SUV bringing a soldier back from the frontline in the Kharkiv region, where Ukrainian forces are pushing back the invaders, when she was wounded on June 2

‘I only realised there would be no amputation in the morning in the hospital. I thought that they would cut at least one leg. But everything above the knees is intact,’ Yuliia says, relieved. 

She was evacuated to a civil hospital, and the following morning arrived in Dnipro – the closest major city to the front line. 

Remarkably, her colleagues escaped with concussion – but the car was a smouldering wreck.

On the outskirts of Dnipro lie the graves of Ukrainian soldiers less fortunate than Yuliia – killed over the past eight years of conflict. 

The cemetery has expanded rapidly since Russia’s invasion on February 24.

The war has cost the lives of around 10,000 Ukrainian troops, according to Kyiv.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk