Could anyone imagine that in the twenty-first century, a city of an independent European country could be erased from the face of the earth, while its people were put on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe? For almost three months, in real-time, the whole world had been watching the Russian army slowly destroy Mariupol—one of the key cities of eastern Ukraine. “I was born in Mariupol and lived there all my life. It’s the city of my childhood, of my love and my happiness. I’ve seen it in different shapes and forms, but I’ve never thought that I would see it dead. I couldn’t even imagine that I would be describing its agony. The characters of this book are real people. They are my friends, relatives, and neighbors. During the blockade, bombardments, constant shelling, and hunger, we, the residents of Mariupol, tried to survive. I was writing down everything that was happening to us to keep my sanity. I didn’t think I had a chance to escape this hell and that’s why I described all events as they really happened”, writes Nadia Sukhorukova about her book.