NEWS AND COMMENT-HOSTOMEL, NEAR KYIV, UKRAINE: Sasha, 26, (we don’t know her surname) owned horse stables at Hostomel. She also owned (with businessman Roman?) two Grand Prix standard showjumping horses at the stables; Cassandro and Pakistan. Roman also owned a rescue horse called Valencia. The horses were ridden by Roman’s wife in competitions in Ukraine. The horses were their kids as they had no children.
We know that the area to the north west of Kyiv has been attacked mercilessly by Russian invaders as they advanced towards the capital of Ukraine. They’ve been held up there since this story reach the new media. In fact, I have read that the Ukrainian defenders have pushed back the Russian invaders in counter-attacks. This is encouraging.
It is unclear from the Daily Mail reporting when it happened but, apparently, a Russian helicopter attacked the area and the stables with missiles. It appears to have been an assault on the local airfield which spilled over to attacking the stables.
At the time this attack helicopter fired missiles at the stables there were 31 horses and one pony within the facility.
Sasha tried to get the horses out before the attack by leading one dominant horse from the stables in the expectation and hope that the others would follow. Before she could reach the stables, the area was attacked by shellfire. She was apparently on the way to the stables at the time and hid under her trailer and then decided to go back.
Subsequently, the Russians occupied the area around the stables. Two grooms remained on site but were evicted by the Russian occupiers. In the meantime, the horses were uncared for. They were neither fed nor watered and were terrified.
On March 8, 2022, neighbours observed the stables being hit by rockets. One of two stable blocks contained 13 horses. It was destroyed and burned to the ground. Both Pakistan and Cassandro were killed. Eight horses escaped and are running loose in the area.
Some of the horses were bought by parents for their children. They are dead too. The children are asking about them.
That is all I know. It is an horrific moment amongst a great see of agony and destruction perpetrated by the Russian invaders.
We must remember the animals that have been killed and injured. And those that have managed to escape with their refugee owners. There are many. Large animals like horses cannot be simply carried out of the war zone. They are suffering and they are dying. They are innocent and it is completely inexplicable as to why the Russians wanted to destroy horse stables. Perhaps it is just indiscriminate firing of missiles and shells which happen to hit non-military installations.