“Look at the faces around us, they look exactly the same as in the photos from WWII, and it’s only been a few days. Can you imagine what’s going to happen in a month?” Tana Novgorod, 48, an art historian arrived at the station with her 15-year-old daughter on Tuesday afternoon.
She bought tickets for six different trains, but soon realized they were useless. There is a different boarding rule at the station: first mothers with children, then women, then the elderly. The others are blocked by police and soldiers who stand guard. The train fills up quickly. Families had to make split-second decisions – mothers with children were allowed to board, but grandparents had to stay on the dock.
At least 21 people have died over the past day in the bombing of Kharkov. The Russians claim to have occupied Kherson
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Tuesday was the sixth day of Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, and fear was already widespread among the population. At first, there was a sense of shock and mistrust. Then came pride in the surprisingly tenacious Ukrainian response to the attack and the unity of Ukrainian society. However, success in repelling the initial Russian attack carries terrible uncertainty. When Putin’s Plan A failed, will his Plan B include turning kyiv into Syrian Halab (Aleppo) or Chechen Grozny?
Monday’s rocket attack on a residential block in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkov, and another that hit the main square on Tuesday morning, forced many Kyiv residents to realize what the metropolis is could be confronted in a few days. On Tuesday there was another reminder of the enormous force facing Ukraine when a rocket strike hit kyiv’s television tower and reportedly killed at least five people.
The tower is located near the Babí Jar memorial, which commemorates the victims of the gorge of the same name, where Nazi soldiers massacred up to 150,000 people during World War II – including more than 30,000 Jews. Russian Defense Ministry urges Ukrainian capital to flee, threatens to launch raids on series of targets
Underestimation of cruelty and barbarism
Russia attacked a television tower in kyiv, killing five people and injuring several others
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Like many others, Novgorod underestimated the cruelty and barbarity of the coming invasion and ignored those who told her she had to leave. Even though the rockets started falling, she decided to stay and endure. However, she changed her mind on Tuesday when she saw images of rocket attacks on the civilian area of Kharkov.
“We realized that this might be the last chance to escape. Personally, I would stay and try to fight, but I think if you have children you should leave,” he said. she said.She and her daughter took only a small carry-on for a trip that could possibly stretch on indefinitely.
Many didn’t even try to get into the crowd that had formed when the train arrived. And as pleading cries echoed through the crowd around the cars, a middle-aged couple with a suitcase and a five-litre bottle of water stood a few feet away, their brown boxers puffing nervously beside them .
The man, Yuri, said their children had been living in Munich and had been begging them to leave Ukraine for weeks. But he, like most people here, simply did not believe that Putin would be able to start a war like the current one.
He and his wife spent the first night of the attack in the basement of the building where he lives. It was terribly cold, no toilets, and the basement didn’t look very stable. So the next night, they slept in the bathroom of their ninth-floor apartment, hoping for the best. When they saw footage of the rocket attacks on Kharkov on Monday, they decided to flee. “I’m scared of what’s to come, and I really want to get out of here,” Yuri said.
Explosions shake around kyiv. Missile attack in Zhytomyr caused civilian casualties
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But he and his wife are too low on the train line – and too polite to try to break in. Finally, with a creak of wheels and a hiss of smoke, the train pulled out of the station, only through the dirty windows for a moment the faces of small children could be seen pressed against the glass.
Once in western Ukraine, many more extensive journeys await the borders with Poland, Slovakia or Hungary, where people have reported wait times of several days this week.
Yuri and his wife stayed on the platform with thousands of other people, hoping to be happier next time. An older man with an amputated leg staggered on crutches as his wife tried to encourage him to wait a few more hours and try to get a seat on another train west. A little further on, a weeping couple hug each other desperately. The girl leaned sadly against the pillar, tears streaming down the cat she was holding in her arms.
The station is one of the few places bustling with activity in Kyiv, which a week ago was a fully functioning and vibrant European metropolis but has now become a ghost town. Kreshchatyk, a large class, was almost completely deserted on Tuesday. Most shops are closed, the only signs of life are the queues outside pharmacies.
More and more checkpoints appear every day on the outskirts of the city. On Tuesday, army cranes lifted concrete blocks on the road to form barricades in several places. Major posts are guarded by professional soldiers, while hundreds of smaller posts are guarded by nervous volunteers, many of whom have never held a weapon before.
Digital billboards on the outskirts of the city-state: ‘Putin has lost! The whole world is with Ukraine”, while the information signs at the edge of the highway announce: “Air temperature + 1°C, road temperature + 2°C, Russians, shoot! “.
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