Putin’s troops force disabled woman in wheelchair clutching tortoiseshell cat to flee her home

This is a shocking photograph, which in many ways sums up what Putin is doing to the citizens of Ukraine. He is brutalising the most vulnerable. His troops are forcing people like this disabled woman in her wheelchair to flee her home while clutching her tortoiseshell cat. Her crutches are by her side and she appears to have a female carer. Well done to her. You see her possessions next to her, placed on the muddy ground. You see a fire next to her possessions which perhaps kept her warm during the night. She is in some sort of transit camp. This is her life now.

If you click on the image, you’ll see it much larger.

Picture of a disabled woman in her wheel chair holding her tortoiseshell cat having been forced from her home by Putin is shocking

Picture of a disabled woman in her wheel chair holding her tortoiseshell cat having been forced from her home by Putin is shocking. Photo: Evening Standard. Photographer unknown.

She has left her apartment; probably an apartment where she has lived for most of her life. I don’t know but we’ve seen the shelled apartment blocks across Ukraine and particularly in Mariupol. I’ve seen the destruction of homes in which there were elderly women and their companion cats. Many have died in their homes while some have been fortunate enough to survive the bombardment and fled with their cat or dog companion.

Or, she has fled a home for the disabled near Kharkiv, north-east Ukraine, which was hit by Russian shelling. Sixty-three of the home’s 330 residents were evacuated while the fate of the remaining 267 was unknown. It was reported by the Mail Online (March 11th) that Russians are killing more civilians than soldiers and have destroyed 48 schools.

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It is a shocking photograph and it highlights the brutality of Vladimir Putin. He is behaving like a psychopath; a person who is unconcerned about the consequences of his actions. To kill the vulnerable both animal and human is inhuman. It is hateful.

Putin is the most hated individual on the planet. And deservedly so. The Ukrainian president, Zelensky, must not negotiate a peace at this present moment because his troops are winning the war. Putin has massively misjudged the situation and all the reports are that his troops are suffering from very low morale. Some are giving themselves up to the Ukrainians and even fighting for Ukraine. Putin is losing. He is a pariah and has no way out.

I would play the war out a bit longer because it may well provide the Ukrainian troops with a more dominant position upon which Zelensky can better negotiate a peace settlement which will be vital to the long-term future of his country. Or simply boot the Russians out entirely. The dominance of Ukrainian troops near Kyiv resulted in the retreat of Russians who’ve tied Ukrainian civilians hand and foot and shot them in the head, including children as young as 14. The Sunday Times reports that 18 bodies were found in a basement. The Russians are destroying everything as they go and mining the bodies of those they’ve murdered. Evidence of war crimes is being gathered and documented.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “As Russian troops are forced into retreat, we are seeing increasing evidence of appalling acts by the invading forces [and] their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians…must be investigated as war crimes.”

There have been many instances of animal shelters, zoos and horse stables being shelled with many animals killed and thankfully many saved by wonderful volunteers. The war needs to end as quickly as possible but it is bizarre to state that, right now, it should not end too quickly because Ukraine is getting the upper hand. Putin needs to be defeated. The Russians need to be kicked out of Ukraine conclusively. This is what Putin will understand. It is what will stick and there will be no half-baked treaty which is broken in about 10 years’ time.

Far better for the Ukrainians to see the war out at this stage and finish the job if I’m correct and the experts are correct in their assessment that the invasion has stalled and is backtracking with a gradual tilting of dominance towards Ukrainian forces.

In the meantime, we all wish this woman and her tortie cat well. Poland is doing great work in taking care of refugees. Britain is leading European support (provision of armaments). Good for Boris Johnson. It might shut up some of his chattering critics.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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