Kharkiv. Chronicles of the Attack on the City. Day 84 (18.05.2022)

By Serhiy Petrov

The shelling of Kharkiv resumed today. The strikes were few, but they did happen. The muscovites shelled different parts of the city. At night, they attacked Selyshche Zhukovskoho. Residential houses, Kharkiv Aviation Institute buildings, the fire department, and cars were damaged. The muscovites are targeting educational institutions and State Emergency Service units. Our team of civilian infrastructure destruction documentarians has written about this before. During the day, the ruscists fired on Saltivka and Pyatykhatky, injuring three people. In the evening, there were strikes in the northern outskirts of Kharkiv.

The muscovites also shelled the suburbs of Kharkiv, including Tsyrkuny, both of the Tyshky, as well as Ruska Lozova, Pytomnyk, Slatyne, Prudyanka, and others. The village club was destroyed in Prudyanka. There was shelling of Vilkhivka, located to the east of the city. Three people were injured in the suburbs. In addition, the ruscists shelled the village of Tsapivka in  Zolochivska Hromada; as a result, agriculture facilities were damaged.

Fighting continues north of Kharkiv. Ukrainian troops have liberated the village of Dementiyivka from the muscovites. It’s located east of the town of Prudyanka, between Prudyanka and the road to Belhorod. In this area, our military is pushing the muscovites to Hoptivka, which is on the very border. However, the muscovites attempted to attack the village of Ternova in the Lipetsk Hromada.

One of the damaged residential buildings in Pavlove Pole (April 2022). Photo: Serhiy Petrov. License CC BY-SA 4.0

People are returning to the northern outskirts of the city, even though it is still very dangerous. They do it for different reasons. Some were renting housing and simply ran out of money; some lived with their relatives, at the relatives’ expense, and the lack of work forced them to return.  There are also people who simply want to go home. Meanwhile, there’s still an element of danger to living in Pivnichna Saltivka and Pyatykhatky. But the few days without shelling has caused many people to relax. Still, periodic shelling of the city is a reality we’re going to have to live with for a very long time. That is why our military is trying to push the ruscists beyond the border, to protect Kharkiv residents as much as possible.

Governor of the Kharkiv region has been urging people not to visit Sarzhyn Yar.  This area  may have booby traps and mines planted by sabotage groups, as well as unexploded ordnance. It is also dangerous to get off the paved paths. They also urge not to visit the park and forest areas, where fighting continued, because of the high potential for shells and mines.

In the city, about 700 people who have been living in the subway need resettlement, because their homes are either damaged or unfit to live in. So far, only 40 people have been relocated.

Additionally, 12 Administrative Services Centers have reopened in Kharkiv, beginning to provide some services like registration of people who lost their homes either because they’re in areas under constant muscovite shelling or because they have been destroyed. Also provided is a number of services in the areas of construction, residence registration, and so on.

Kharkiv school teachers have been told to return to the city by June 1 and go to work the same day. Otherwise, they may consider themselves fired for not showing up to work. On one hand, this is an attempt to clean up the schools and get them in shape. On the other hand, the security situation is not yet certain in the city and this will not help restore offline education. Some of the people who left have nowhere to return to in Kharkiv, as they lived either in Saltivka, Pyatykhatky, Selyshche Zhukovskoho, or in the northern suburbs. Of course, there are no means of providing housing for people who would be ready to return but have nowhere to live.

Work is underway to restore gas, water, and electricity supply lines in the different areas of the city, starting with Saltivka and the southeast outskirts, as well as the northern suburbs: the Malodanilivska, Zolochivska, and Derhachivska hromadas.

Work is underway to dismantle the debris of damaged and destroyed buildings in Kharkiv, as well as in Derhachi and Rohan hromadas. Body of a local woman was found in the village of Dokuchaevske during the dismantling of the rubble of one of the residential buildings damaged by ruscist shelling. There will be many more such “discoveries” and we all need to be mentally prepared for it.

About 90% of residential buildings in Vilkhivka, the center of the Vilkhiv Hromada, were destroyed or damaged; a school where a battle took place was burned down. Many residents have completely lost their homes. The demining took a long time and people were not allowed to return to the village. It was occupied on the first day of the full-scale invasion. There has been no electricity or gas since February 26. As much as possible, people would gradually be taken out of the village through backroads and taken to Kharkiv. Electricity and gas are currently being restored.

During the occupation of Staryi Saltov, one of the locals, a former paratrooper, was engaging in subversive activities behind his wife’s back, such as stealing ammunition and documents and hiding them in barns and toilets, removing batteries from military equipment and hiding them in the woods, so that muscovites wouldn’t be able find them. He also damaged the hoses used to refuel armored vehicles. One of his raids ended in a mine blast. Using his dog Malva’s leash as a tourniquet on his injured leg, he crawled to our troops, while the dog returned to guard his wife. In my opinion, such heroic deeds during the occupation should be recognized with state awards. This man definitely deserves it. He did it at the cost of his health.

By the way, many soldiers from the temporarily occupied territories had settled at the local school in Staryi Saltov. But in one of the neighboring villages other soldiers of the muscovite army settled in the barn. They kicked the cows out so that they could live there. This is the story with the entire army of moscovia.

Fighting continues in the southeast of the region. Our military is holding back the muscovite offensive in the Slovyansk and Barvinkove directions. In the Kharkiv region, a Su-34 fighter jet  was shot down. According to an unconfirmed account, the pilots had ejected.

The situation in the Kharkiv region’s occupied territories is difficult. There are problems with electricity and gas supplies, limited food supplies, medicine shortages, and high prices for whatever is available. The Oskil Reservoir has disappeared due to damage to the dam. Only the Oskil streambed remains, some distributaries, and lakes, with little water in them. In mid-February, about 16,000 people lived in the Borivka Hromada area. Only 40 to 50% of the residents remained during the occupation.

The State Bureau of Investigations has reported that two police officers from Kupyansk are suspected of collaborating with the occupiers, giving them weapons and ammunition stored in the regional administration building.

Fighting continues in the areas of Lyman and Sievierodonetsk, in the Bakhmut direction, identified as the main directions. Muscovites are also trying to attack in the area of ​​Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Velyka Novosilka in Donetsk region, as well as Huliaipole and Orikhiv in the Zaporizhzhya region.

Explosions were heard in Belhorod from time to time during the day. There were more explosions in the village of Solokhi of the Belhorod region. Alledgedly, one person was injured and a number of houses were damaged. Local authorities have accused the Ukrainian military of shelling the area.

Let us help and support our defenders. Let us believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine, and Territorial Defense. And let us bring closer the day of our victory!