East Ukrainians mourn destruction and losses in Russian attack

Death and destruction across Ukraine
Photo: AFP


Dawn revealed the destruction that Russian bombing had inflicted on several cities in eastern Ukraine.

A woman screams over the body of a man, killed during a Russian bombing in the Chuguev residential neighborhood in eastern Ukraine, one of the first targets of the invasion launched by Russia on Thursday. Next to the corpse, the son, prostrate, cries. "I told him to go away," he repeats, next to the charred remains of an old Lada-branded vehicle.

The missile left a crater four to five meters in diameter between two completely destroyed five-story buildings in the neighborhood, in the city 30 kilometers from Kharkiv, the second largest in the country. Firefighters are still trying to extinguish the last flames. Even the buildings furthest from the missile site were damaged.

Russian bombardments resounded during part of the night. Police did not release a balance of damage, but in the morning light it looked considerable. Four buildings were completely destroyed. Above them hovered a thick column of black smoke visible from afar.

Sergei, 67, suffered some bruises during the bombing, but despite his injuries, he tries to cover the ground-floor windows of his home with a table. "I'll stay here. My daughter is in Kiev and she is there as she is here", says the Ukrainian, referring to the explosions registered during the morning in the main cities of the country, including the capital. According to the account, the missile that fell on them was destined for the nearby military airport. "It was part of the targets that Putin indicated. I wasn't even surprised," he continues.

"Defend my homeland"

The threat doesn't just come from the sky. The Ukrainian border guard announced Russian ground incursions at several points. In the east, people in the breakaway Lugansk region, hardened by eight years of armed conflict with pro-Russian rebels, are very clear on what to do.

"If they continue to bomb us, I will look for weapons to defend my homeland. It doesn't matter if I'm 62 years old," promises Vladimir Levashov, a resident of Chuguev. "If you look at history, if you read books, 300 or 400 years ago it was the same thing. Russians are looters", he revolts.

The Ukrainian Army is ubiquitous on the main roads to the east. Between Kramatorsk and Kharkov, a convoy of vehicles with the yellow and blue Ukrainian flag is stopped.

300 kilometers away, in Mariupol, powerful explosions shook the main port city in the east of the country, relatively spared from the hostilities of recent weeks. In this area, close to the front line, the withdrawal of the civilian population begins, in villages such as Zoloty and Gorsky.

Fonte: Jn.pt

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