Ukrainian Man and His Dog Escape Mariupol by Walking 140 Miles to Safety

The journey this man went on with his dog is heartbreaking yet incredible.

 As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, people continue to evacuate dangerous areas of the nation. Some flee by automobile or rail, while others, like as Igor Pedin, escape on foot. The 61-year-old trekked 140 kilometres from the besieged city of Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia. Walking from Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia would be the equivalent in the United States. And Pedin wasn't alone on his journey. Zhu-Zhu, his devoted dog, accompanied him every step of the trip.

Pedin put his life in peril to go to safety. As he proceeded approaching convoys of Russian soldiers and armored vehicles while maneuvering over collapsed bridges and buildings, he tried to remain "invisible."He wasn't invisible, but he was extremely lucky, especially considering what he left behind. Mariupol has been the location of fierce conflict and is currently experiencing a humanitarian catastrophe; people are having difficulty evacuating and many have perished.

Pedin took the choice to flee on April 20, when Russian forces arrived in his neighborhood. His home was engulfed in fog and smoke. Because food and water were short, he packed his belongings and departed early on April 23. Pedin sought a spot to sleep after leaving Mariupol. It was on the couch of a stranger who had lost his adolescent son to shrapnel from Russian warfare six weeks before.

Pedin and Zhu-Zhu proceeded on their journey, only to be apprehended by Chechen soldiers at one point (who are working with Russia). He had to meet with a Russian police before being released after having his fingerprints scanned and a mugshot taken. Pedin was arrested several times after that, but he always made it out and resumed his journey.

The most difficult portion of Pedin's trek wasn't fighting Russian forces, but rather navigating a wrecked road bridge with a 98-foot drop into train lines below. Fortunately, some of the framework remained, so the courageous man checked the structure to determine whether it was walkable. It was, and he and Zhu-Zhu met.

Pedin ultimately made it to Zaporizhzhia with the assistance of a driver he bought with smokes. The driver drove him for two hours without saying anything and dropped him off in the city center. He wished Pedin well and gave him some money.

Pedin had arrived at this moment. He stepped to a tent, where a woman inquired if he needed assistance. Pedin paused before responding, "Yes." "'Where have you come from?' said the lady." 'I'm from Mariupol,' I explained. 'Mariupol!' she yelled." He recalls. "She announced to everyone that this man had walked from Mariupol. Everyone paused. "I believe it was my shining moment."

Igor Pedin went with his dog, Zhu-Zhu, from the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukraine, to Zaporizhzhia, 140 miles distant. They had to navigate Russian forces as well as destroyed cities and bridges.

They made it to the relative safety of Zaporizhzhia after a perilous journey. They were hailed by humanitarian personnel.

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