11-Year-Old Girl Shot In The Face By Russian Soldiers Now In Poland
American volunteers said that an 11-year-old girl who was shot in the face by Russian soldiers finally crossed into Poland Tuesday night.
Milena Uralova was shot on March 16 trying to flee Mariupol, Ukraine, and “has a bullet wound to her jaw and the base of her tongue,” Uralova’s mother said. The family was driving west in a car when they came upon Russian soldiers who opened fire at the car with machine guns, striking Uralova. The soldiers delivered first aid when they realized who they’d shot, she added.
Uralova was a gymnast before Russia invaded Ukraine but now she has difficulty walking and speaking. She has a large scar on her neck and across her cheek from where she was shot.
Uralova and her mother arrived at the Medyka border crossing Tuesday, American volunteer Mark Lindquist said. Lindquist, along with American volunteers Ross Worrell, Christopher Sheppard and Derrick Miller said they helped the family and spoke to them through Google Translate about available accommodations.
“The first message I had my phone read to the little girl was to tell her that I liked her hat. It was black with sparkly sunglasses on it, and when she heard my phone say that she smiled a great big smile and said ‘thank you.’ As we kept walking, I kept communicating with the little girl asking her if this was her teddy bear, and I told her that I would keep the teddy bear safe. She smiled widely every time, so I kept thinking of things I could say to lift her spirits,” Lindquist said.
“As we help the family make their way across the border, I notice our group of 5 Americans have formed a perimeter around this family. There was no f****ing way anyone was going to harass this family on their way through,” Miller said.
Halfway across the border, Uralova’s mother shared their story with the volunteers, pointing at her daughter’s scar, while they were crossing the border, Worrell said.
“That just hit me, I lost it, I broke down crying,” Worrell said, fighting back tears. “She was a trooper.”
“As we crossed through the Polish side, she stopped and grabbed some snacks from a humanitarian aid tent and a blanket from someone inside the big UN tent,” Lindquist said.
Uralova’s father was waiting on the other side of the Polish border with a car, Worrell continued.
“Right before they left, I gave her an envelope and said goodbye. … It was one of the 1000 zloty envelopes that I prepped today worth about $250,” Miller concluded. “In retrospect, I wish I gave them more, but just like this work day-in and day-out, our encounters will be brief but hopefully impactful.”