The Russian troops destroyed Tchaikovsky’s house in north-east Ukraine

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Trostyanets is a Ukrainian city in the north-east that formerly hosted Russian musician Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The famous 19th-century Romantic composer resided in a villa in Trostyanets, then a part of the Russian Empire, when he was 24 years old. It was here that he wrote his first symphonic work, the ‘The Storm’ overture (1864).

Following the seizure of Trostyanets on March 1, 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the villa, like the rest of the city, is now in ruins.

After a month of occupation, during which people were reportedly murdered by Russian hand grenades, Ukrainian forces reclaimed control of Trostyanets with severe shelling.

Though the Russian army has already left after a harsh month, the city is littered with evidence of their presence: buildings, including the villa, have been demolished, and the letter ‘Z’ has been graffitied on ruins and cars throughout the city.

Food and water have become dangerously limited in Trostyanets, which has a population of 25,000 people, since the invasion began in February.

Residents must now queue in front of the Tchaikovsky Music School for Children, which is located next to the Tchaikovsky Music Museum.

The concert hall at the Tchaikovsky Music School for Children was used to enlist Ukrainian volunteers for the Territorial Defense Forces during the early days of the Russian invasion.

Citizens spotted reporters from international outlets in their city while waiting in line for meals and ran to them. The reporters were bombarded with a cacophony of testimonies.

“They smashed my place up.”

“They stole everything, even my underwear.”

“They killed a guy on my street.”

“The f*****s stole my laptop and my aftershave.”

The mayor of Trostyanets has stated that it is too early to estimate the number of people murdered in his city.

When civilians in Trostyanets resisted Russian occupation, hand grenades were reportedly used against them, killing two people.

Because of the heartbreaking testimonials from inhabitants of the city and other parts of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged an investigation into purported Russian war crimes in the country on Monday.

Following a phone conversation with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, von der Leyen stated that EU investigators will assist Kyiv in investigating accusations from Ukrainian officials and NGOs that Russian forces killed and sexually harassed residents in villages near Kiev.

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