A Ukrainian woman allegedly locked her children in their nursery with no food or water for nine days, causing one of them to die.

Vladislava Trokhimchuk, 23, of Kiev, appeared at her trial Tuesday, after being charged with the murder of her 1-year-old son, Daniil, and severe cruelty to her 2-year-old daughter, Anna, in a 2016 case. During her trial, the woman was accused of torturing “her children for a profit” so that she could post pictures of her sickly children online, and ask strangers for money, Daily Mail reported.

Trokhimchuk, who was recently declared mentally fit to stand trial, failed to explain why she did not provide sustenance to her children for a prolonged period. “As soon as I could I went to the children - with groceries and toys. Anna was lying on the bed, sleeping. I woke her, gave cottage cheese, and a banana. I kept her in my arms. And then everything was like in a terrible dream... I do not understand how it happened,” she told the court. 

She added: “I cannot find an excuse for myself. I always wanted the best for children. I dreamed they would study, live differently than I do, better. That they would have everything. I repent very much. I cannot understand what I did, or that God took my son from me and put me here [in custody].”

Pictures of the nursery, described as “pure Auschwitz” and “a torture room for children,” were shown to the court. Evidence of teeth marks was found on the wall and the linoleum on the floor near the door, through which the children tried to escape, was torn. It is believed that the children ate wallpaper, plastic covers, and their own excrement to try to survive.

Local journalist Valentina Mudryk, working for Ukrainian news media channel 1+1, visited the house where the children were kept, and said the kitchen was well-equipped with food.

“Cutlets and soup were in the fridge. If the mother had not shut the door to the nursery, her son and daughter could have found food in the fridge and could have drunk the tap water,” she said.

During the time the children were locked up, their mother was accused of being away on a trip with her boyfriend to his parents' home, Chilean website Publimetro reported. “She was having fun with him while her children were being tortured to death,” said one police source.

The children were eventually saved by Mikhail and Yulia Gorovoy, who own the house where the children were kept. “Nobody heard them screaming… it is sinister... I see these children in my nightmares. Thank God the girl survived, but the boy did not, and for me, this flat will be always associated with this horror,” Yulia said.

Trokhimchuk’s daughter, who was suffering from malnutrition after being rescued, recovered well and is soon to be adopted. The accused faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.