Kharkiv. Chronicles of the Attack on the City. Day 21 (16.03.2022)

By Serhiy Petrov

Today was quiet compared to the last few days, which saw heavy bombardment of many of the city’s neighborhoods, but I wouldn’t say it was calm exactly.

Ukrainian National Emergency Services headquarters for the Kharkiv region (CC BY 4.0)
Ukrainian National Emergency Services headquarters for the Kharkiv region. Photo: Nataliya Zubar, Maidan Monitoring Information Center (CC BY 4.0)

There was intense shelling of Saltivka and Nemyshlya by the  Russian troops in the evening. Bombs landed in other neighborhoods at night—particularly in Osnova, where a school was destroyed and nearby houses were damaged. Overall, multiple schools in the city were destroyed or damaged in the evening and night hours.

In the morning, the Muscovites continued shooting in all of their main directions: Saltivka, Okessiyivka, Pavlove Pole, the Kharkiv Tractor Plant, Novi Budynky, and Nemyshlya. The shelling caused destruction of residential buildings, infrastructure, deaths, and injuries.

Saltivka was also shelled in the afternoon (today, like on all other days, it got hit the worst). As a result, one of the few interesting buildings from the Era of Stagnation, the Saltivka circular market (Kruglyi Rynok), which used to be home to the “Rost” supermarket, was damaged. They also bombed the nearby mall, which burned down completely. Another supermarket in a neighborhood where very few places are left for people to get food is gone. 

Extermination of people and destruction of infrastructure in order to empty entire neighborhoods and settle in is the Muscovites’ new tactic. The shelling of people standing in line in Kharkiv’s Pyatyhatki and in Chernihiv, with all the resulting deaths, is all from the same playbook.

But in the afternoon the shelling subsided and it got generally quiet, unusual silence punctured with infrequent exchanges of artillery fire. In general, there were no active fighting near Kharkiv today. And thanks to the preventive measures by the Ukrainian forces, the Muscovites have been unable to approach the city. Based on intercepted communications by the pigs near Kharkiv, they’re getting their asses kicked so hard, coming here would mean an extremely high probability of becoming fertilizer.

Over the last two days, three rescuers who were extinguishing fires during attacks were wounded. Saving human lives and property is another front. Thanks to the rescuers for what they’re doing in these complicated conditions.

Unfortunately, there have been deaths among volunteers. Five people who volunteered in Kharkiv   died over the last two weeks. We will remember them all for their selflessness. We will remember! We will never forgive! I think it’s important to keep a list of volunteers who laid down their lives at the altar of our independence. It is our duty before them and their close ones to keep their memory alive!

As for the rest of the region, it’s impossible to agree on a green corridor out of Izyum, where the situation is critical. There’s no way to evacuate people because of fighting and shelling of the city. It’s also impossible to deliver humanitarian aid.

In the occupied territories, there have been many cases of civilians being killed in order to seize their cars and property. One such incident occurred in the village of Chkalovske, in the Kharkiv region.

Lozova has become a hub for people displaced from surrounding areas occupied by Muscovites or where fighting is ongoing. It’s not a secreto anyone, just a fact. The local government is actively working to accommodate people. Local governments in the Kharkiv region are pro-Ukraine, with the exception of Kupyuansk and Pivdenne.

The people’s protests together with actions by the central government made it possible to liberate the mayor of Melitopol—as well as prevent the removal of the mayor of Skadovsk. The residents of Skadovsk came out to protest the Muscovites while under fire and tear gas. Freedom is a value you can butter your bread with (editor’s note: an idiomatic expression, meant to express something real, tangible). Residents of big cities and small towns are proving this, despite what some TV anchors may tell you.

Documenting the destruction caused by the Muscovites’ invasion of Ukraine is one of the most important fronts. It’s important in the context of the first decision in this case the UN International Court of Justice has already made and of the court’s beginning to consider a case on the merits of violations of war conventions and Muscovites’ war crimes against Ukrainians.

Today’s Darwin Award goes to whoever made the combat calculations by the Muscovite Buk (a Russian mobile surface-to-air missile system), which really wanted to bring down a Bayraktar but 1) couldn’t and 2) revealed its own location, giving our guys the opportunity to eliminate it. First of all, it’s beautiful. (Editor’s note: this is a reference to a well-known joke in Russia and Ukraine.)

Let’s help our troops: the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, and Territorial Defense. Let’s support volunteers, rescuers, and public utility workers. Let’s remember those who gave their lives for our independence and freedom. We trust, help, and support each other and know that everything will be, Ukraine!


Translated by Oksana Kastanda Lamborn

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