Serhiy Perebyinis: Ukrainian dad learned about death of wife and kids via viral Twitter pic
A Ukrainian father learned about the tragic murder of his entire family by Russian troops through a viral Twitter photo, which showed his wife and kids lying dead across the pavement. Ukrainian mother Tatiana Perebeinis and her kids Alisa, 9, and Mykyta, 18, were killed by mortar fire when they tried to escape shelling outside Kyiv. They were being assisted by a church volunteer, who was also killed by the troops.
Much later, Tatiana's husband Serhiy Perebyinis learned the devastating news on social media as the slain family's photo was being circulated widely. In a recent interview, an emotional Perebyinis told The New York Times, "I told her, ‘Forgive me that I couldn’t defend you,” while talking about his wife. The haunting photo even prompted Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky to issue an ominous warning to the Russian forces, as he vowed to "kill every b**tard" responsible for slaughtering innocent civilians.
In his conversation with New York Times, the heartbroken father revealed that he had stayed back to look after his ailing mother in another part of Ukraine, when his family was brutally killed.
"I tried to care for one person, and it meant I cannot protect you,” he had told his wife the night before her tragic death. “She said, ‘Don’t worry, I will get out.’” Perebyinis recalled. He added, “The whole world should know what is happening here."
He also noted that his son was under a lot of stress due to the ongoing war. On Sunday morning, March 6, the family drove as far as possible and attempted to cross a bridge on foot. Meanwhile, Serhiy was trying to monitor his family's location on his cellphone, but he grew concerned when their location was tracked to a Kyiv hospital. He panicked as no one was picking up his calls, only to see on Twitter later how his family was killed by a mortar strike on the evacuation route.
Tatiana, who was a 43-year-old IT worker from Kyiv, was fleeing Kyiv with her children after the Russian troops started shelling residential buildings. The family also lost one of their dogs, while the other was found alive at a local shelter with an amputated leg.
In an address on March 6, President Zelenskyy spoke about Tatiana Perebeinis and her two children. “We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war. On our land. We will find every b*****d. Which shot at our cities, our people. Which bombed our land. Which launched rockets. Which gave the order and pressed ‘start,’” he said. “There will be no quiet place on this Earth for you. Except for the grave.”
SE Ranking, the company where Perebeinis worked, shared a statement on social media. "We are devastated to say that yesterday our dear colleague and friend Tatiana Perebeinis, the chief accountant of SE Ranking, was killed together with her two kids by Russian mortar artillery. The family was trying to evacuate from Irpin – a small city right near Kyiv that has been left without water supply, electricity, and heating," the company wrote.
"There are no words to describe our grief or to mend our pain. But for us, it is crucial to not let Tania and her kids Alise and Mykyta remain just statistics. Her family became the victim of the unprovoked fire on civilians, which under any law is a crime against humanity. The Russian army are criminals, and they should be stopped. Our hearts are broken. Our prayers are for all Ukrainians, who are fighting for their right to exist," they noted.