A trip to the city that took a little breath after the truce in May. The missiles are back, there are those who live in the metro stations: Suppose we are camping
from our reporter
Kharkiv: Not silence, more. Nights Kharkiv They have no sound other than the sound of sirens and bombs. Often dark, even in the heart of the city. As if life itself stopped after the curfew hour. But if you resist the fear of staying on the balcony for a few minutes, the rewards will be a starry sky that enchants once your eyes get used to the darkness.
Here is the deceived city.
The May Armistice allowed everyone to hope for less brutal days. The siege seemed to be over, the Russians withdrew towards their border, 40 kilometers from here. But it was actually a hoax. The former capital of one and a half million people, the second largest in Ukraine, is back under attack day and night. And in the early morning the missiles hit the center again.
Weary and frightened people and few cars on the streets, 70% of businesses have stopped, 30% of homes are destroyedVery few shops, cafes and restaurants are open. Everywhere protective panels block shop windows and windows, it’s hard to find a building with all the glass intact (when the missiles weren’t Cluster bombsAnd the Witnesses swear the first days of the war, the bloodiest).
We have nine districts and they are all bombed. No neighborhood or place in the city can be said to be completely safe, he comments Mayor, Ihor Terekhov. This doesn’t mean how many crosses his city got (several hundreds) but he says that more than 150,000 people were left homeless and that on the good days – those in early May – its citizens returned at a rate of 2,000 a day. , small businesses tried to start over, people got off the subway and went home, and he found thousands of these displaced people who had lived underground for two and a half months. but now …
Even today, after 158 days, between 100 and 150 people live between trains and platforms at Heroes of Labor, the last metro station in the northeast direction, down the Saltivka foot, the most bombed area. city. world above Its buildings are black with smoke and empty of people, with no water, no gas, and no electricity. The few remaining residents are like ghosts: we live in a place that no longer exists, in unrecognizable homes, every explosion is a new wound. The world below has children playing Happy at the foot of a bunk bed, between the revolving doors of ticket offices and bulletin boards; It has ladies warming water to bathe, cats napping, reading people lying on piles of blankets and others reaching heaven to save Ukraine because, Lord, we deserve salvation.
Let’s pretend we’re camping
Maria, 70, says she arrived by tank on February 27. Zinaida, 71, has been living there since February 27 with her daughter Xenia, 50. Our building is uninhabitable. We have nothing left. where will we go?. Getting close to home gives you the illusion that you can be back soon. If you ask her how she spends her days, Zhenia answers herself about the others who gather around her: We deceive life by doing the things we always do: get up at the usual time, do personal hygiene, Let’s go out to air the blanketsWe even made the barn… Pretending to go camping. But no one wants to stay here for the winter.
You also get used to circumstances that might once have seemed impossible. Valerie Boucteau, for example. He is 68 years old and head of the neurosurgery department of the City Hospital for Ambulance and Emergency Assistance. He’s been back home three or four times since the war, just to see if he’s still standing. I sleep here in the hospital, he says, because you need me, there is not a day when civilians with shrapnel do not arrive. Dr. Bucto is moved when he tells us about complex operations, about lives saved, on his own Great team from the operating room and her three children, whom she had not seen in a while.
guardian of nothingness
In Kharkiv there are tens of thousands of parents who have not seen their children for months and have been sent to safety away from the bombs. Andrej Semenyuk, 54, is one of them. Her boyfriend went to Israel and has been working for the security of Barabachovo, one of the largest markets in Europe that was destroyed by a near-destructive missile attack on March 17. It is not clear what he should have watched now, if not for the enormous pile of iron marred by the fire. But for Andrij this neglected so much of his life and it doesn’t matter, I come here and walk around as if everyone were still there. As if the people were still screaming, the shops were opening, the goods were in front of the doors, the parcels to be loaded and unloaded… as if it was still February 23.
Jul 30 2022 (change on Jul 30, 2022 | 21:52)
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