An academic at Cambridge University has expressed concern that his mother may be interred in a mass grave in Ukraine.
Svetlana Kirilenko, Andrei Kirilenko's 85-year-old mother, died in Mariupol, but a year after the war started, he hasn't been able to learn what happened to her.
On March 11, her body was discovered by neighbors, who then moved her into a chilly garage before they had to flee.
Before Prof. Kirilenko could get an update, months had passed.
In the eastern Donbas region, where some of the heaviest Russian bombardment was directed at, Mrs. Kirilenko resided in the important port city. .
When they last spoke in early March, Prof. Kirilenko expressed his belief that his mother was aware that this was her final farewell.
Later, he received a call from his native country informing him that his mother had passed away and been buried.
They managed to communicate that some of them managed to go back, burying my mother somewhere. "It's dangerous for people in Ukraine to get in touch with anyone who doesn't have a Russian phone number, but they managed to communicate that.
Since hundreds of thousands of people perished, the city of Mariupol is essentially surrounded by fields of mass graves, according to satellite photos, he said. .
So my mother is buried somewhere in one of those graves. ".
The long lines of people waiting to see Queen Elizabeth II lie in state last year, according to the finance professor at Cambridge Judge Business School, caused him to experience grief over the death of his own mother.
The chapter hasn't closed for me because I haven't gone through what he described as being both pageantry and a very human experience.
This still hurts, and not just for me. Millions of people's stories are like mine. ".
Prof. Kirilenko expressed his concerns that the war will drag on during a speech marking the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine. .
"What we are witnessing is that both sides are arming themselves more, engaging in more combat, and losing more lives.
He claimed that "the Russian government has gone out and recruited hundreds of thousands of their own citizens and sent some of them into battle unprepared.".
A meat grinder, that is. Even I have no idea what it's for. These are wealthy older men. What do they acquire?
They won't get any younger or make any more money as a result of this. In actuality, they are losing money, he continued. .
They won't gain more glory from this because everyone views them as evil individuals, so they won't. " .
However, after years of working for the International Monetary Fund, where he dealt with financial crises, he is now working with other Ukrainians - some from bomb shelters - on a strategy to aid in the reconstruction of the nation's economy after the conflict is over.
It's crucial because a significant amount of money will be required to rebuild the nation, and it must be protected and put to good use to prevent it from ending up in the pockets of a select group of people who will profit from the tragedy and pain experienced by the nation as a whole.
It is your country, Prof. Kirilenko said, calling for the economic strategy to be "designed by Ukrainians. It has cost your countrymen their lives.