Abroad|The Russian attack
HS interviewed two residents of Ukraine’s second-largest city, which Russia fires with rockets and bombs with planes.
1.3. 21:13 | Updated 1.3. 21:22
Tuesday in the morning in Kharkov Irinan there was a huge explosion in the home. The pressure wave hit the windows, which were already covered with plates.
It was a Russian cruise missile that hit the Freedom Square in the middle of the city, destroying the windows of the regional administration building and killing at least ten civilians, according to authorities.
In the afternoon, Irina’s apartment heard the sound of a very low-flying plane. Then it exploded. The target was a residential building, which, according to authorities, killed eight civilians.
That’s it has been everyday in Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkov, with a population of one and a half million, for the past six days.
“We are shot from Russia every day, morning and evening. There were more rocket attacks in the early days, but now planes have started flying, ”Irina tells HS by phone from home.
For example, on Monday, the regional administration reported the deaths of 11 civilians in Kharkov.
Irina is retired. She lives with her husband and adult son near the center of Kharkov. For the past four nights, they have lived in the bomb shelter of their apartment building on sleeping pads.
The curfew is valid from 4 pm to 4 am. There are constant air alarms. You still have to go shopping outside. The trade is started when bread and other basic foodstuffs have been brought there.
“I also help old people who can’t get out of their homes by taking them bread.”
Irina herself has not seen Russian troops, but relatives living closer to the border are. On Thursday, a rocket was hit in his nephew’s apartment building. Luckily, the family had time to leave
People trying to get away from Kharkov are gathered at the city’s railway station. Many have left, but Irina plans to stay.
“I am at home. We have not invited them here and we have not asked for any exemption. At first, it was hard to realize that we had been attacked by a neighbor who has always claimed to be his brothers to them. But they don’t scare us away, ”Irina says.
Artist Ivan Pandikidis, 39, also lives near the center. During the call, a background is heard.
He says he woke up on Tuesday before the attack on Freedom Square, when there was firing near his house.
After the attack on Freedom Square, Pandikidis went out to the store. Shopping trips are dangerous because there can be a two-hour queue at the store.
“When I got back from the store, a plane flew over the city. I got home when it dropped its bomb about half a mile away, ”he says of the eight fatal attacks.
According to Pandikidis, Russia’s attacks in the early days focused more on military targets and infrastructure, but now they hit where it hurts. Authorities have reported 87 damaged residential buildings.
Pandikidis spent his first night of war in the basement of his parents ’house. Now he has slept in his own apartment, as far away from the windows as possible.
He has seen Russian troops once as a dozen soldiers moved in the yard of his house.
His own troops can be seen at virtually every intersection, he said. There are also a lot of so-called regional defense forces, or volunteers, who have taken up arms. Many make fuel bottles.
“There are really a lot of destroyed Russian vehicles. We no longer know what we would do with them. ”
Kharkov the subway has become a bomb shelter where many live. Also the mayor Ihor Terehov spend a lot of time there. Take food and water there.
Telephone connections are working, electricity is interrupted in between. The situation is worst in houses where both heat and electricity are cut off.
Ivan Pandikidis helps, but not militarily. He distributes food and medicine and is involved in eradicating disinformation in the city’s Finnish groups.
It is now rumored in Kharkov that Russia is planning to destroy the power plant. It would then be announced that the Ukrainian leadership had surrendered.
“We are prepared for this.”
What does Pandikidis think of what is happening in Kharkov?
“This is hell on earth. No one could wait anywhere near that, but here the war is now, behind that window. Children are dying, women are dying, the elderly are dying, and Russia is not even told that they are at war. ”
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