The terror that gripped the capital started before dawn, when many people were still asleep. It was dark outside when residents of the Obolon neighborhood’s nine-story apartment block were woken by an enormous explosion.
We were told by elderly people how they wandered in the darkness, scared, looking for a way out. In several parts of the block, fires broke out. Each window was broken.
The blast caused fear in the hearts of everyone who heard it. It ripped out the soul of the building and destroyed one of its main staircases making it difficult for many to climb down.
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Crews of firefighters raced to pull people to safety using their extended ladders amid fears that gas cookers and cannisters could ignite more fires or cause smaller explosions.
A man with cuts on his forehead told us that his bedroom was destroyed during his sleep. “I was woken up by a huge explosion ….,” he said. Everything in the room was on fire…windows ,… everything.
“My TV had been smashed against the wall in front my window… I climbed out from the rubble and then I noticed my neighbours were also alive…they got through my window because they couldn’t find any other way.”
He continued, “I’m fortunate to be alive.” It’s amazing to me that I am here. I tried to find my cat, but couldn’t. I smelled gas and emergency personnel told me to hurry as it might explode.
He went in and out of the building many times, just like so many others, trying to get vital documents and clothes.
Later, he was seen carrying his cat. The animal had not survived.
It’s amazing that anyone survived looking at this building. Each window was broken with many surrounding walls falling down and opening into the once-home of someone.
The walls of the kitchen still contained coffee cups, and clothing and soft toys were still found in the corners of the sitting rooms.
Many floors were destroyed. According to the Kyiv authorities, one person was killed and a few others were hurt.
In a matter of hours, however, the people of the capital city felt as though multiple strikes were coming down on them.
In the city, air raid sirens were heard continuously. In some areas, there was a patchwork pattern of streaks coming from anti-aircraft missiles that were apparently aimed at Russian jets.
Six miles away from the capital’s center, the Anatov aircraft plant was also attacked. This sent a huge plume of black smoke over the city’s skyline.
The country’s air defense system appeared to have stopped the third attack, which was also located in the north of Obolon and only a few miles from Obolon’s earlier hit.
However, debris still flooded homes and offices in Kurenivka. It appeared that most of the debris fell on a tram or taxi in this second densely built-up area.
“This is genocide at the center of Europe”
After examining the scene, Alex Goncharenko (a Ukrainian MP) accused the Russian leader of war crimes.
Sky News reported that Putin (Putin), couldn’t defeat our army. “Our army is holding firm so he’s now starting to fight with unarmed people with pregnant women such as those in Mariupol, and with children with civilians just living… That’s genocide in the 21st Century in the middle Europe.”
Russia has been accused for targeting schools, hospitals, and homes for several weeks now. They continue to deny the accusations.
Attacking civilian areas or non-combatants in war crimes is a war crime. Ukrainian lawyers are collecting evidence to support a possible future prosecution. They claim that the Russian troops seem to have been focusing on food supply chain and not just civilian areas.
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Gyunduz Mamedov was the former deputy prosecutor general. He said that there was a large bread manufacturing plant very close to Obolon’s residential block. “They could have tried to attack the food supply chain in the city – it wouldn’t be the first.
As firemen attempted to extinguish the flames in their homes, several residents wept and hugged one another.
The residents began to rebuild and patch up their homes within a matter of minutes.
One resident said, “I feel terrible,” as he worked to board his house with wood. He fell to his knees and beat his chest mid-sentence.
He was full of anger and emotion. He was brimming with emotion and rage.
He couldn’t speak and exasperatedly thumps his chest.
He was referring to the West’s unwillingness to be directly involved in this conflict.
Two young men are cleaning out a flat that appears to have been completely destroyed from several floors up in Obolon’s apartment block.
The Ukrainian flag was placed on the crumbling and burned-out balcony. One shouts to us, “They must know that we are strong.” Russia and the rest know this now, I think.