Several Ukrainian mothers break down as they open up about the trauma their family has lived through during Russia’s invasion in an exclusive clip for NBC News’ upcoming special “Ukraine: A Mother’s War.”
The special follows the lives of five Ukrainian mothers, all survivors fighting in different ways. In the clip, which you can watch above, one of the women clutches the hands of foreign correspondent Molly Hunter as she details the horrors she’s been through.
“It was all Russians raping, abusing, and torturing our people,” the woman cries. The clip also shows another woman crying as she hugs a cross, and yet another surveying the rubble of a town.
In the special, audiences will meet Inna, from Kharkiv, who fights to save her young son battling cancer. Olena, in Bucha, looks for answers for her son after his father was killed on the frontlines. And Taisa, in Borodyanka, buries her only son in her backyard after Russian troops shot him in the back.
“Going into towns and villages that had been under Russian occupation for weeks, it was so often the women who had survived,” Hunter said in a statement to TheWrap. “The women who were still there to tell us their stories. But also, the women who had been most vulnerable during occupation.”
She added: “These women are extraordinary. But their experiences are not. Through months of reporting, we found their stories, the war crimes they witnessed and survived almost typical in certain places in Ukraine of the civilian experience during this war.”
While in Ukraine, Hunter also documented the struggles of a woman named Natalia who is searching to bring her husband Zhenia home. Last seen in March 2022, Natalia says Zhenia was taken at gunpoint from his family home in Bucha, Ukraine, by occupying Russian troops.
In a second special titled “Unbreakable: Taken by Russia – Searching for Zhenia,” NBC News details Natalia’s journey, through the heartbreak and frustration, the waiting and the unknowing, and the hope she refuses to lose sight of.
“Ukraine: A Mother’s War” airs Thursday on NBC News NOW at 11 p.m. ET. “Unbreakable” will air one week later on Sept. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET.