Kharkiv. Chronicles of the Attack on the City. Day 74 (08.05.2022)

By Serhiy Petrov

I don’t have any information about shelling attacks on Kharkiv today—me and my friends at least haven’t heard any. It’s quiet in the city. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of shelling in the suburbs and other northern areas of the region (Bohodukhiv and its environs). There are victims: dead and wounded. The liberated settlements are receiving humanitarian aid. Fighting continues in the southeast of the region.

Theoretically, there could have been strikes in Pivnichna Saltivka, but they would very isolated. So, I repeat, I do not have any such information. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine confirmed that there weren’t any fires as a result of shelling in the Kharkiv region. I’ll dare to cautiously express a thought that this could be the first day since the start of the war when the muscovites did not fire on Kharkiv. Some were confused by the explosion heard in the city an hour after the first hour of peace. One needs to get used to the new sounds.

One of the damaged schools in Kharkiv. Photo: Serhiy Petrov, CC BY-SA 4.0

In the suburbs, Prudyanka, Slatyne, and an area near Ruska Lozova were shelled. There was heavy shelling in Zolochiv Hromada and Bohodukhiv Hromada, causing many deaths and injuries. In the daytime the muscovites fired at the city of Bohodukhiv, damaging buildings, three wounding three people, and killing one, a one woman. The ruscists also fired on the village of Lozove in the Bohodukhiv Hromada, killing one woman.

In addition, the muscovites actively fired on villages of the Zolochiv Hromada. In the village of Kalinove two men went into the house for lunch and were killed by a shell that hit the house directly. According to the prosecutor’s office, 10 houses were destroyed and another 10 were damaged. The occupiers also fired on the village of Udy and twice during the day on the village of Oleksandrivka, first with artillery and then from helicopters. In both cases houses, outbuildings, and cars were damaged.

City authorities have provided information about one person dead and two wounded in the Kharkiv district, but the settlements where it happened are unknown.

Muscovites also shelled the Chuhuiv district. There was a strike in the village Korobochkyne of the Chkalovsk Hromada, injuring a man. The shelling of this area has gotten quite active.

There’s silence in Kharkiv. Birds chirp and return to the trees. One no longer hears sounds of artillery fire in the morning and in the evening, but listens to the songs of birds—at least in the area where I live. The birds had been mostly hiding in the buildings, only flying out to search for food.

On one hand life goes on in the city, while on the other there are many problems. One is the problem with gasoline. There is not enough gasoline in the city. It’s being rationed and people wait in long queues to get it. Nobody knows when the situation will return to normal: maybe next week, maybe after two weeks. The fuel situation is similar across the country. A lot of volunteer work is delayed because of it.

The situation with gas is a little better. The third category of drivers—owners of electric cars—are in a privileged position all the time. In the first days of the attack on the city, when there were even bigger problems with fuel in Kharkiv, many of them pulled out a lot of help.

Cafes, restaurants, and shops are open. My acquaintances from other cities say that at least in terms of quantity (rather than selection) the food supply in Kharkiv is better than in some of the cities in the rear. But this is because less than half of the city’s mid-February population has remained. The rest have gone to the cities, towns, and villages of the rear. But there’s a shortage of clothes and shoes in the city. To get them, one has to travel to the rear or order and have them brought from there.

Our team has discovered an interesting fact while communicating with people. Over the past few weeks, many Kharkiv residents received phone calls from relatives and friends from the temporarily occupied suburbs or places a bit further out, asking in great detail about the situation in the city and in their neighborhoods. Muscovites then shelled the places that had been discussed. And these are not isolated cases. One can observe a certain pattern here. In the first days of the muscovite attack on Kharkiv, almost all these people said, “Let’s wait a few days.” Then they switched to saying, “It’s not so simple.” It’s possible that these people are cooperating or were cooperating with the occupiers. Therefore, one needs to be very careful about what they say when communicating with such people. It’s better to switch to some personal household topics instead of talking about what has and hasn’t been destroyed.

By the way, this is exactly the answer to the problem raised by Taras Topolya which sparked controversy on social networks. Apparently, in Kharkiv and in the liberated villages there are people who still don’t understand what’s happening, even after all the shelling, the grief, and the occupation. In Kharkiv, pro-Russian activists who still claim that “it’s not so simple” and cannot figure where their own neighborhoods are being shelled from (this is a reliable way to tell such people apart) represent somewhere between 10 and 15%. True, there aren’t many, but it’s not an amount one can ignore. It is necessary to be vigilant and hand such individuals over to the Security Service, if only for a preventive conversation. And yes, the Security Service of Ukraine does a good job in the Kharkiv region. This much can be seen even in the daily reports.

Mayor Terekhov organized a concert for World War II veterans in the subway. It was the right thing to do today. The question of “celebration” May 9 (translator: former Soviet republics’ Victory Day) got resolved at the local level.

An initiative has been launched in Kharkiv to rename Pushkinskaya Street to Hryhoriy Skovoroda Street. It was raised after the deliberate destruction of the Hryhoriy Skovoroda Literary Memorial Museum in the village of Skovorodynivka of the Zolochiv Hromada. The initiative was started by the chief editor of the Vivat publishing house and deputy director of the Hryhoriy Skovoroda Museum Olena Rybka. The small street in Velyka Danylivka is not enough to perpetuate the memory of the outstanding philosopher and teacher, whose life is closely connected with Kharkiv. He was teaching at the Kharkiv Collegium in the Kharkiv region. Moreover, it is the right thing to do.

“Pushkinists” (as muscovites are now called on social networks, because Pushkin is an important symbol for ruscists, who credit him with creating the modern muscovite language) destroyed the Skovoroda Museum as an act of revenge. So renaming Pushkinskaya Street to Skovoroda street is a symbolic step in response.

By the way, the Kharkiv Toponymic Group is already working on a list for renaming.

The group is a public association that took active part in renaming streets and places to help decommunization. Many of its proposals were taken into account by the city authorities at the time. I am honored to belong to this group. Our position is that renaming is necessary, but it should not be done in a hurry. It is a list of more than 300 names. It is important to do it thoughtfully in order to form a harmonious toponymic map of the city and avoid creating chaos. There is some hope that the city authorities will listen to us. We will continue to work on this issue to convince the authorities that our approach is correct.

Humanitarian aid has made it to the recently liberated Tsyrkuny. Also, Mykola Sikalenko, head of the Tsyrkunivka Hromada, who disappeared on March 21, has been freed. He noted that the occupiers called the village Tsyrkuny a “city.” Well, it may feel like a city to them, but it is an ordinary village in the suburbs. This again highlights the difference in living standards between Ukraine and moscovia and explains why they’re stealing everything. It’s not only because of their nature, but also because of the much lower standard of living in moscovia than in our country. Even the poor in our country almost live better than their military contractors. Many houses in Tsyrkuny were destroyed, and a school that survived World War II was severely partially destroyed. Police officers have reported for duty in the village.

Unfortunately, charred remains of a body were found in one of the cars smashed near Staryi Saltov on May 4. Along with the body a pendant was found, which corresponded with the description of a 13-year-old girl named Sofia Raevska, whose relatives were looking for her.

Now for something funny. In one of the liberated villages in the Kharkiv region, muscovites had lived inside a chicken coop. They killed chickens and lived there. The reason they chose such extravagant accomodations remains unknown. But it was convenient: they slept, ate, and shat all in one place.

The situation in the Slovyansk and Barvinkove directions remains difficult, but the Ukrainian military is defending our land. In Barvinkove a shell hit a two-story house, killing a woman who was inside.

In the occupied territories, muscovites are trying to take full control of remote areas.  For example, head of the Chkalovsk Hromada (Chkalovsk is occupied) Viktor Solovyov and village council secretary Konstantin Chernyavsky announced a temporary suspension of their authority due to threats from the muscovite military. They do not want to cooperate with the occupiers, so they will live and volunteer as ordinary residents of the community.

In the Borivka Hromada, muscovites are conducting a property inventory (refrigerators, washing machines, televisions) in people’s homes. The soviet times have returned, including the prerogative not to live better than the neighbors and wear a single pair of pants for three years.

They also look for hunters in the villages and confiscate their weapons, move into empty houses and social infrastructure facilities.

The situation is difficult in the Lyman district, in the Rubizhne district, and on the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk. However, the muscovites did not take the village of Shandryholove in the Lyman Hromada. After a shelling, Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk are without electricity. The Popasna water supply system that provided water to both these cities and many cities in the temporarily occupied territories was damaged.

Ruscists struck a school in Belohorovka on Saturday. Up to 60 people remained under the rubble. Thirty people were rescued; bodies of two volunteers who had been helping evacuate people were found. Muscovites also began shelling the road between Bakhmut and Lysychansk.

Our troops have retreated from Popasna and to fortified frontiers further west. The city has been destroyed. Fighting is also taking place in the area of ​​Avdiivka, Marynka, Velyka Novosilka, Huliaipole, and Orikhiv. Huliaipole, Orikhiv, and surrounding villages are under constant shelling.

Ruscists fire upon Mykolaiv, and send rockets to Odesa. In Odesa, the rocket hit the four-star hotel complex Grand Pettine, located on the Black Sea coast. The building was destroyed, but no one was inside. The complex is built on seized land and belongs to Serhiy Demidov, a former regional council deputy from Partiya Rehionov. He is a business partner of the former People’s Deputy Ihor Markov, who is currently hiding in Russia and supporting the war against Ukraine. So, that was a bit of friendly fire. Odesa residents fought, unsuccessfully, for a long time against this seizure of land and its pseudo-legalization. Another reason for the strike is that these lands were marked as property of the USSR Ministry of Defense on 1980s maps. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine sued for this land with its current owners. For 74 days, the muscovites have been pounding using maps drawn in the ‘80s.

In the occupied territories, muscovites began taking inventory of apartments and houses that people left behind. For example, in Kherson, the occupation commander of the city issued a directive to register such property for “nationalization” and accommodation of “newcomers.”

Resistance continues. People distribute patriotic flyers in Kherson, Melitopol, and other cities.

Another funny thing that happened. In Kherson, a masterful whistler mimicked the sound of an incoming round from a balcony, scaring muscovites below, who fled and hid.

Today’s Darwin Awards goes to:

  • Muscovite servicemen who decided to ford their tanks across the shallow Oskil River (the dam of the Oskil Reservoir was blown up) near the village of Bohuslavka but got stuck in the mud and couldn’t pull the equipment out even with the help of other heavy equipment.
  • In the Zaporizhzhya direction, the occupiers fired the heavy flamethrower “Solntsepyok” at one of their other units in an episode of friendly fire. The units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine locted in this section of the front expressed their gratitude and suggested that they carry out similar assassinations more often.

Let us believe in and support our army, the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And let us know that everything will be, Ukraine!