Four months old, she survived the bombardment that almost completely destroyed a farm in the village of Mala Rogan, 25 km southeast of Kharkiv (east), killing a third of the animals.

A “nightmare night” for Lioubov Zlobina, the 62-year-old owner, who says she has been “haunted since by the cries of the cows burned alive” in the shed on March 26, while the Russians were trying to conquer the agglomeration.

“I cling to this little miracle but I have given her antibiotics twice and unfortunately her wound is still oozing and she is no longer fattening,” she laments under the sound of bombs in the distance.

“If we could remove the shard, maybe she would be out of the woods, but for surgery, we would have to take her very far and we can’t,” breathes Ms. Zlobina, looking overwhelmed.

Her husband, who was a driver in Afghanistan in the Soviet army, shows AFP on his cell phone some videos taken the night of the tragedy.

“We ran in all directions coming out of the cellar,” explains Mykolaï Zlobin, 57, because the hay had immediately caught fire. A cow that was giving birth was decapitated.

It was necessary to destroy a whole section of wall with the tractor to allow the cattle to find an exit, while the missiles continued to fall on the panicked herd.

“I tried to save a few piglets but the sows were terrified and protected them under their bellies”, regrets Lioubov Zlobina, surprised on the other hand that the hens continued to peck as if nothing had happened.

Yulia Koval, 38, an employee present on the day of the tragedy, says a beam fell on her head as she tried to push the calves outside.

“We could have gone through it because it kept falling, but we didn’t think about it,” she says. “We just wanted to save them, that’s all.”

However, the most severely affected animals had to be killed.

– Hungry strays –

Now the stable is just a rusty metal skeleton. Ruminants must stay in the surrounding fields, which fortunately have not been mined.

For the youngest, a makeshift shelter has been hastily erected, but a permanent solution will have to be found before winter.

And the two-hectare farm lives in the anguish of dogs abandoned by their owners, who have left to take shelter further west: they are starving.

“Look at this injured ewe with her three lambs,” Ms Zlobina says, pointing at her as she tries to hide. “She was attacked not even twenty-four hours ago.”

“At the beginning, the packs ate the bodies of abandoned Russian soldiers and we sometimes found a foot or a hand on our plot, but now they are attacking the cattle,” she says disgusted.

In the first weeks of the Russian invasion, Mala Rogan was occupied by forces from Moscow, who have since left this part of Ukraine, leaving behind a battle-torn landscape.

But the small village is still under heavy artillery fire and special permission from the Ukrainian armed forces is required to go there, which completely isolates the farm, deprived of gas and electricity.

The fate reserved for it is not uncommon and the media regularly report on the massive death of animals during the bombardments, in the regions most affected by the destruction.

According to the Ukrainian government, 15% of cattle have already been lost. For its part, the association of milk producers estimates that the number of cattle in the country will have decreased by 8 to 10% by the end of the year.

“In 2021, Ukraine had 3.11 million head and a loss of 300,000 animals is expected,” according to the NGO Open Cages Ukraine, which issued a first report on June 9, after contacting 290 farms.