Kharkiv. Chronicles of the Attack on the City. Day 72 (06.05.2022)

By Serhiy Petrov

There was very little shelling of the city today. The few landings that did take place hit Pivnichna Saltivka and Velyka Danylivka, other parts of Saltivka, and their environs. Fighting is ongoing to the north and east of the city. The General Staff announced the liberation of five settlements in the Saltivka direction, as well as an operation in Tsyrkuny – Tyshky. The situation in the southeast, where fighting continues, remains difficult.

In Kharkiv, besides Pivnichna Saltivka, the numbered districts of Saltivka, as well as Obriy and the Kharkiv Tractor Plant neighborhood were shelled today. It was quiet in the city center. Out on the edges of the city you can hear that the sounds of the war are being pushed away, far from Kharkiv. The battles taking place to the north of the city are responsible for this, as well as the active attempts to push the muscovites toward the village of Rubizhne, of the Vovchansk Hromada.

One of the destroyed houses in Derhachi, April 2022. Photo: Nataliya Zubar. License CC BY-SA 4.0

The suburbs remain under attack. Derhachi, Slatyne, Prudyanka, and Ruska Lozova are being shelled. There are problems with all types of utility infrastructure in those areas (power, gas, and so on), because of the constant bombardment, which also makes it impossible to make repairs quickly. Finally, the infrastructure is being gradually repaired in Derhachi. But it’s unknown when the main gas line connecting the Derhachi Hromada will be fixed.

Ruscist helicopters continued shooting at the Zolochiv Hromada, particularly at the village of Udy, which came under attack twice in one day. Two houses were destroyed there and two others damaged.

Unfortunately, late in the evening, the village of Skovorodynivka, in the Zolochiv Hromada, came under fire. The national H. S. Skovoroda literature-memorial museum was targeted. The building was badly ruined; a fire broke out. According to government officials, the museum’s collection had been moved to a safe place and wasn’t affected. However, the building, which was only recently renovated, has been destroyed. This was a monument of history and architecture. It’s a nice 300th birthday present for Hryhoriy Savych (Skovoroda) from the muscovites: they destroyed our cultural heritage. The museum director’s son was injured and taken to a hospital.

Those who will continue yelling about the value of monuments to Pushkin or other muscovite cultural figures should remember that the ruscists destroyed a Hryhoriy Skovoroda collection in the Kharkiv region and continue destroying our cultural heritage. If remembering this doesn’t help, they should go in the direction in which Roman Hrybov sent the “russian warship” and never come back (much like the cruiser Moskva has not come back). These monuments must be removed from the public space once and for all! All elements of muscovite colonialism must be removed from as many places as possible! It’s decolonization time!

Nevertheless, our troops are taking counteroffensive action. First, in the north. A partial liberation of the village of Cherkaski Tyshky was announced, but anyone who looks at the map will understand that without clearing out the entire territory of Tsyrkuny, Cherkaski Tyshky, and Ruski Tyshky it’s impossible to control it. (It’s totally possible that there’s fierce fighting in parts of Tsyrkuny, but that’s just my assumption from looking at the map.) Additionally, rumors are circulating that somewhere further north, the muscovites are even running away, taking something out with them. Actually, we’ll see if these are just rumors. It’s a hope for some good news. But we rely on official information, we just need to wait a little bit more. That’s why I remain cautiously optimistic, waiting for the operation to end. We know that the muscovites are blowing up bridges across small rivers to hinder us, but it makes only a tiny difference. The sounds from there started to quiet down in the evening. They say the “sounds of war” are supposedly rolling further toward the border. Compared to two months of bombardment, it’s true.

Life in Kharkiv goes on at its unhurried pace. More and more people resent the fairy tales of mayor Terekhov about a million people being in the city (even in the city center about half of the residences are empty), about help, about restoration of the city, and so on. Unfortunately, words and reality diverge: people equipped all the basement shelters on their own (I don’t know of a single occasion when the city government helped with this—not a single occasion); volunteers deliver humanitarian aid to northern Saltivka, other heavily targeted parts of Saltivka, Velyka Danylivka, Pyatykhatky, Selyshche Zhukovskoho, Obriy—help from the city government has not been observed. The only thing the city does partly help with is boarding up windows that have been blown out by blast waves in some areas. There are more and more questions for the city government.

Meanwhile, Terekhov is already putting forth insane one- and two-year-long city rebuilding projects and talking about a new general plan and a shortening of the tram network (yep, he literally said this today, and about waterways through the city… Older Kharkivites know that this wouldn’t be possible to implement using small river trams because of the low-sitting bridges. In the 90s, the river tram Lastivka couldn’t travel far because of the low bridges and shallowness of the Kharkiv and Lopan rivers. The boat burned down in 2005 under mysterious circumstances.

When the situation was tense, and everybody understood that it was tense for city officials, too, few dared to criticize the government’s actions, especially when it came to evacuations and providing humanitarian aid. I regularly illuminated these problems in my chronicles. But now more people have started communicating and publicly criticizing actions of the city government, which wouldn’t help people in a critical situation. If Terekhov wants to keep his support, he’d better drop empty PR and start handling real business. Because afterward (and won’t be able to say he wasn’t warned), the mood in the city can change, especially when the bombardment situation gradually improves.

Like in other regions of Ukraine, there are problems with fuel in Kharkiv. Many gas stations simply don’t have it. Those that do have long lines of cars waiting to refuel. They promise that the fuel situation will improve over the week. 

I wouldn’t recommend returning to those who have left and are considering it. They should wait at least until our troops push back the muscovites along the entire northern frontline to a more or less acceptable distance and until the fuel problem is resolved. Wait at least another two or three weeks.

Both the city council and the regional council are planning meetings. The regional government is planning to direct money from the region’s budget to support Territorial Defense—something they planned to do as far back as February 24 but didn’t because start of the wide-scale muscovite invasion.

The most interesting developments are taking place in the eastern Starosaltivsky direction. First, the villages of Oleksandrivka (Tsyrkunivska Hromada), Shestakove, Fedorivka (Starosaltivska Hromada), Ukrayinka (Vovchansk Hormada), and Peremoha (Lypetska Hromada) are now officially liberated. The list is ordered from Kharkiv to Staryi Saltov and the village of Rubizhne of the Vovchansk Hromada.

As far as Staryi Saltov itself goes, there’s no official information about a liberation. But today the police looked around a place nearby, where a column of automobiles came under muscovite fire: six cars were damaged and four burned bodies were found. This leads one to an interesting conclusion: our troops are thinking of pushing through to Rubizhne simultaneously from two directions. From there, they can keep under control by fire the Belhorod-Kupyansk railroad line (the other one goes to Valuyky). Hence, the battles for Rubizhne will be heavy, because it opens up a different set of possibilities for our troops, despite the blown up bridges over Siverskyi Donets.

Things are difficult elsewhere in the region. Our troops are defending the Slovyansk and Barvinkove directions. Barvinkove itself is being shelled on a daily basis.

In the Kharkiv region, the Security Service of Ukraine arrested 11 ruscist snipers from the so-called 115th regiment of the People’s Republic of Donetsk who had been shooting at Ukrainian positions.

The situation is difficult in the occupied territories. Still, the prosecutor’s office continues announcing suspected collaborators. Thus, Vladyslav Sokolov, a former policeman from Izium who in 2020 ran for mayor as the Nash Krai party’s candidate and lost to the sitting mayor, Valeriy Marchenko, became “head of the provisional administration” and personally rose the Russian flag above the Izium Regional State Administration building. In addition, he was persuading city residents to promote the occupiers, held talks with hromada heads of the Izium region about distribution of muscovite humanitarian aid, gave the occupiers information about locations of the Ukrainian troops, and gave the ruscists information about activists and participants in the Anti-Terrorist Operation.

Dmytro Chyhrynov was also announced as a suspect. This is one of the city’s crime bosses, who also became a representative of the “provisional city administration.” He put up the muscovite tricolor rag on a flagpole near the community center of the Vovchansk City Hall. He contributes to the muscovite troops and provides them with resources after having robbed one of Ukraine National Guard’s military bases, a meatpacking plant, and several gas stations. He also collected signatures in support of removal of the sitting mayor of Vovchansk.

In the other directions, the situation is difficult along the entire frontline: in the areas of Lyman, Yampol, Rubizhne, Sievierodonetsk, Popasna (these are the hottest locations), Avdiyivka, Maryinka, Velyka Novosilka, Huliaipole, and Orikhove. The muscovites are constantly bombarding these settlements, while also striking the Zaporizhzhya and Dnipropetrovsk regions with rocket fire.

Heavy fighting continues in Mariupol, on the territory of Azovstal. A car carrying our troops who wanted to help with evacuating civilians was shot with an anti-tank missile, killing one and wounding six. Meanwhile, more than 500 people have been driven out of Mariupol with oversight by the Red Cross.

Things are also difficult in the south, both on the front line and with bombardment of Mykolaiv and the Odesa region.

In the occupied part of the Kherson region, the communications are under muscovite control and the city population is prohibited from travel. Moreover, the city gauleiters have stated that the region will never return under Ukraine’s control and that its coat of arms needs to be changed back to the old one. One more time, the occupiers care about coats of arms, symbols, the names of streets and squares, monuments, and the language in which things are written. For example, the muscovites took down the road sign in Ukrainian and English at the entrance to Mariupol and replaced it with one that only has muscovite language. They have no use for the Ukrainian language as a phenomenon. They want to eliminate Ukrainians and everything Ukrainian and assimilate those who they allow to live. Of course, without the Ukrainian language, “it didn’t exist, doesn’t exist, and won’t exist.”

And now a bit of good news.

First, a new award was introduced: the President of Ukraine’s Award of the “Cross of Military Merit,” the highest award after the title of Hero of Ukraine. It’s totally obvious that the highest award given in a country that’s defending its independence has to be a military award and not a civilian one, like the Order of Freedom before. The award’s design is based on the design of the Cross of Military Merit of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Ukraine Supreme Liberation Council. The modern award fully duplicates that design, with the exception of the colors, some of the decorations (for example, the swords point up instead of down, like on the UIA award), as well as the ribbons (Ukrainian flag colors replace the UIA colors; in general, we have problems with award ribbons and fasteners, according to the specialists). The award’s first recipient is Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Another new award was introduced, “For Courage and Bravery,” to recognize special achievements in battle, courage, and heroism among military personnel. It’s nice that the recepients include the 92nd Mechanized Brigade named after the koshovyi otaman Ivan Sirko, from Bashkyrivka, in the Kharkiv Region, who is now defending Kharkiv and its northern borders.

Things aren’t quiet in moscovia. There were three explosions followed by fires near Belhorod. The local governor got so scared of our successes on the front that he hurriedly evacuated the village of Nekhoteyevka (near the Ukrainian border and the border crossing on the road to Kharkiv). Meanwhile, local authorities are attributing the earlier explosions to the muscovite space military forces. It’s a good explanation, a calming one. A cane fire broke out near Kursk.

Today’s Darwin Award goes to the muscovites who placed about 800 wounded soldiers and up to 200 dead ones in a psychiatric clinic in the Rostov region. As they say, all the procedures, done right away.

Let us believe in and support our glorious defenders! Let us help the volunteers, the medics, and the rescuers.

Let us support each other, and everything will be, Ukraine!

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