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Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine

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Twice a day for a couple of week, CNN producer Mayumi Maruyama has been making an attempt to cellphone a pair she calls “Tato” and “Mama” — Ukrainian for dad and mother.

They dwell in a small village outdoors Chernihiv, a metropolis in northern Ukraine now encircled by Russian troops who’ve decreased main landmarks to rubble.

A couple of years in the past, in peaceable instances, Tato and Mama welcomed Maruyama into their lives, treating her like a daughter as they shared meals and swapped tales about their very totally different lives. 

Then struggle got here. 

The final time Maruyama spoke to Tato, from her new house in Tokyo, was on March 9.

The connection was shaky, and we have been solely capable of speak for a couple of minute, Maruyamawrote for CNN. “We don’t have light,” are the only words I could make out from our stilted conversation as the line cut in and out.

Here she picks up the story: On Friday night, I had a little hope. The phone switched from voicemail to busy. Then the next day, after my relatives took me on a trip to help get my mind off the war, I received a message from a neighbor with news.

Tato and Mama were alive.

My friend’s mother was able to get a hold of someone in their village. Tato and Mama were sheltering in a basement with other people, she said. And Mama’s mother, 91-year-old Babusya, was with them.

“Once shortly, somebody brings them bread,” the friend said. “Their home continues to be intact.”

I keep in mind the basement they’re sheltering in. It was chilly however spacious and there are not any partitions between the bathrooms.

Last week, 10 individuals have been killed by Russian troops in Chernihiv as they tried to purchase bread outdoors the Epicenter Okay — Ukraine’s model of Home Depot — a warehouse-style constructing that had already been destroyed by shelling. 

It’s nonetheless dangerous to try to flee the village.

But I’m relieved that Tato and Mamo are alive, at the same time as combating rages round them. 

Read extra about their story:

Analysis: Tato and Mama gave me a home in Ukraine. Now they're under attack

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