Kharkiv. Chronicles of the Attack on the City. Day 6.

By Serhiy Petrov

The morning in Kharkiv started with two things:

  1. A line at a supermarket. Yes, in Saltivka one must wait in line for 2-3 hours to enter the few supermarkets that are still open. There is one functioning supermarket left per every several tens of thousands remaining residents.
  2. Rocket strikes at Freedom Square. Today marks eight years since the orcs stormed  the Regional Government Administration building via Kharkiv Square and flew the Muscovite flag there. Because they could not take Kharkiv, they decided to fucking bomb it. They started with the Regional Government Administration building. Many neighboring buildings, including the buildings of the Karazin University, now stand with blown out windows, and there are several collapsed vaults. Not much is left of the pine trees in front of the administration building, just loose branches scattered around the square. The “Anything for Victory” tent was badly damaged. We will rebuild. This has already occurred here, during WWII. There are many dead and injured, among them members of Territorial Defense and volunteers.  Eternal memory to the dead. We will never forgive!!!

Several apartment buildings, the opera theater, the philharmonic building, and others were also damaged in the morning artillery attacks. There are dead civilians.

The Russians changed their tactics today. They haven’t stopped using artillery and Grad (multiple launch rocket systems), but the shelling has been more targeted. More apartment buildings were hit, particularly in North Saltivka, Shishkivka, Rohan, the Kharkiv Tractor Plant, Zalyutyn, Oleksiyivka, and New Bavaria.

I walked around the neighborhood today, first to Buchma Street. A lot of bombs landed there. Many houses at the top of the ravine are missing stairwell windows. I saw a destroyed building, part of the facade and all the stairways blown off. Few people are out on the streets, and the constant explosions no longer bother them. I heard an airplane bombing the aircraft factory. Unfortunately, it flew back to Belgorod.

Standing in line to the supermarket and sensing the overall mood of the people that remain in Saltivka, it’s clear that there’s us and there’s them, the Russians. There’s no loyalty to them. The constant shooting and bombing is gradually turning people into beasts. Hatred is growing. People believe in our official data and wish death to Putin. And this is Saltivka, a neighborhood that used to be relatively loyal to Moscow—that is until February 24, 2022.

There’s a shortage of food. Once you’re inside the store, you have very little time to grab whatever they put on the shelves, because there isn’t much. Russia has turned this place into the Soviet Union, with its hours-long lines and the need to scheme and strategize just to score food. There’s no bread and little cereals left in the neighborhoods close to the shelling. Most of the people remaining here are retirees, who have to walk 2 to 4 kilometers in one direction to get in line to the supermarket to get bread—and there’s no guarantee that any will be left by the time they get inside. That’s a problem. People standing in lines are asking that only a single loaf of bread, or half a loaf, is sold to each customer. They blame both municipal and district governments for the bread shortage. 

Shelling was the worst in Horizont, Rohan, and New Bavaria.

In New Bavaria, they were bombing the industrial equipment plant [Kharkivsʹkyy Zavod Pidyomno-Transportnoho Ustatkuvannya], but managed to hit not so much the plant as Novobavarsky Avenue, a nearby apartment building, and municipal hospital number 3. The plane that shelled New Bavaria that time was shot down. The neighborhood was bombed by aircraft again in the evening. The destruction from the second round of shelling is unknown. There was a lot of shelling and destruction in Horizont and Rohan. They are simply blowing these neighborhoods off the face of the Earth with artillery, the Grad multiple launch rocket systems, and aviation.

So the results of the evening air raids were the destruction of the ATB and “Belmart” supermarkets: the only ones in the area that were open.  During the air raid they also destroyed a Vatafon tower.  The connection quality for Vatafon is low in the entire city.

The result of the evening air raids included destruction of the ATB and Belmart supermarkets—the only two left in the neighborhood that were open. Also destroyed was a Vodafone tower. The carrier’s network connection is poor across the entire city.

It took me a while to understand why they like Rohan so much. Obviously, it wasn’t the brewery, and the air defense military unit is in another location (at this point it’s unlikely to have survived). But here they are, shelling city quarters. Eventually I realized that there used to be an aviation institute here. It’s been gone for 25 years. Its dorms have become part of city quarters and trees have grown on the territory of its barracks (really, large trees). But these pigs’ maps and plans must be so old that they still show that the institute is there. Same thing with the maternity hospital: about 30 years ago, there was a military unit in its place.

By the way, yesterday’s attack from the air (which, according to the Ukrainian Air Force, was carried out by a Tu-22M3 strategic bomber) was on warehouses with scrap metal and various consumer goods that now stand where the former Kharkiv tractor/tank engine plant once stood. The plant hadn’t been there for 15 years, but they struck it anyway. Why? Where’s the logic?

The damn Russians simply have maps from the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the early 2000s, I used to collect 2-kilometer topographic maps of all the regions of Ukraine. The map of Kharkiv didn’t have North Saltivka, whose construction began circa 1987-1989, and other neighborhoods, which were built in the 1990s.

Long story short, I suspect that the maps the Russians are using were accurate around 1988 (like the maps I was buying 20 years ago). This explains the logic of their air raids. These idiots can’t even use their fucking Yandex (it’s blocked in Ukraine). When the enemy is so stupid, they only increase the amount of their own war crimes, which works in our favor.

There were more planes in the evening, although the amount flying out was smaller than the amount flying in. They say three out of six planes were downed. Two of the pilots were captured. (Details about them are already online. One shot himself.)

Another observation: these fools are flying to Kharkiv along the commercial aviation route. That’s clear because the route lays precisely above Saltivka and P’yatykhatky! I appreciate that it’s the shorter way, but it’s a bit sketchy. This is just more proof that our enemies are idiots.

But we have good news as well. The residents of Kup’yans’k are heroes of the day. They kicked Russians out of the central square and raised the Ukrainian flag above the city. A crowd of Ukrainian youths pushed some of the vehicles out without any weapons, using only their physical strength.

It was a complex and difficult day, first of all mentally. There were many people killed and wounded. It’s an extermination of the city, a genocide. But Kharkiv is hanging on. The mood is optimistic. The enemy cannot win—they’ll have to flatten the entire city.

We thank the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, Territorial Defense, volunteers, and medics. We believe in them and help them. We support each other. We keep up the fighting spirit, don’t panic, and don’t let our spirits down. Ukraine will be!

P.S. There are Russian planes in the sky again. Pray for all of us here in Kharkiv.

Update 1. They bombed the tank school and the anti-aircraft warfare school. Military targets, that is. So, they’re erasing Rohan? Yep, shitty maps. Regarding Saltivka, it is unclear, since there were only a few aviation hits there.

Friends are telling me that one of the first buildings that was hit in Kyiv was on the territory of a former military unit.

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About Сергій Петров 248 Articles
історик, аналітик Інформаційного Центру "Майдан Моніторинг" (сайт "Майдан"), громадський активіст, редактор української Вікіпедії