Vitaly saw bruises on some of his peers

Wearing St. George ribbons, holding the Russian flag, and singing the anthem of the terrorist state. This is how the Russians forced 16-year-old Vitaly Vertash and his friends to spend their free time in a children's camp in Yevpatoria. Fortunately, our team managed to bring the boy back with other deported children, and now they are all receiving social and mental support.

Vitaly got into the camp back in October, when the "new" director of the school in Beryslav suggested to Inna's mother to send her son on vacation. The woman refused at first. However, the teenager, who was continually under stress, really wanted to go on vacation with his friends. And if you take into account that the Beryslav had already been disconnected from electricity for a long time, and to get food, you had to constantly stand in lines for a humanitarian worker, eventually, Inna agreed to take a risk. The health and safety of her son were a priority.

Nevertheless, the very trip to the camp caused the boy strange feelings. At first, they were not fed all day, and in the morning, instead of breakfast, they were forced to listen to the Russian national anthem. And then they had given such inedible nutrition that the young man had to run away from the camp to buy normal food at his own expense. The children didn't receive clean bed linen, and they weren't taken to the shower every day.

But nutrition and personal hygiene weren't the biggest problems in the camp, compared to what the children had to go through mentally. In occupied Crimea, the Russians created inhuman living conditions for them. Everything around was hung with the word "Russia", in the corridor there was a statue of the president of the Russian Federation with the inscription "Putin is the king", and every morning began with the Russian national anthem. Those who refused to sing had their phone, a portion of food, and the opportunity to take a shower taken away for 4 days.

Administrators and counselors of the camp exerted the greatest moral pressure on the children. Those who had a pro-Ukrainian position were beaten with an iron rod. Those who resisted were threatened with exile to another boarding school.

Children were brainwashed by telling fiction about the crimes of Ukrainians. Vitaly saw bruises on some of his peers. And the most terrible memory is the rape of a 13-year-old girl by Russian counselors. Vitaliy heard screams when she tried to escape from there, but didn't succeed.

The boy also mentions the last name of Astakhov, who is responsible for security in the camp. He was the one who organized the bullying of children. Vitaly still has the remembrance of Astakhov burning a small blue and yellow flag that he found in one of the girls in the camp. The traitor of Ukraine then told the children: "Let's go, you will watch your country burn."

At that time, Vitalya's mother drove crazy from worries in de-occupied Beryslav, which suffered from enemy shelling. There was no way the woman could take her son home, and where: to the constant danger from which her three sons are already suffering? With the last hope, Inna dialed the number of our hotline. After learning about the situation, we evacuated the Vertysh family to Kyiv and immediately began preparing documents for Vitaly's return from Russia.

Now all the brothers are together and safe in the capital's "Hope and Recovery" center. And we continue to document every crime committed by the Russians and do everything we can to bring every Ukrainian child home.

If you or your relatives need help, contact the "Save Ukraine" hotline for support USAID Ukraine - USAID Україна:
0 800 333 129