Kyiv, UKRAINE — As a small crowd gathered on Saturday in an area hit by a missile attack, people spoke of their close call, chaos on New Year’s Eve, and burning anger at Russia for attacking on a holiday.
The year ended much like residents of the capital and other cities, as families rushed to the safer places of their homes amid air raid sirens and explosions.
The outrage over airstrikes on cities far from the front lines is all the more evident as Ukraine is winning the battlefield and the barrage is serving no direct military purpose. President Volodymyr Zelensky called such strikes “revenge for the losers.”
Viktoria Dubrovina, a retired metro system worker, heard explosions and explosions in the sky, as she described, near an auditorium called the “Palace of Ukraine” across from her apartment in central Kyiv. rice field.
“I have no words,” she said. “No way. We wanted it to change, but they did it.”
The blast shattered windows, ripped holes five stories high in the walls of the hotel, and littered the streets with slabs of concrete and broken glass in a chaotic manner. A strip of insulation was blown off.
One of Ukraine’s largest concert halls, the Ukrainian Palace, which usually hosts children’s plays during the day on New Year’s Eve, was closed this year due to power outages caused by previous strikes. said in an interview. The foyer and restroom were damaged.
Attorney Ihor Sulchanu came to see a nearby building at the client’s request. The building stood, but the blast passed through it, shattering windows and tearing interior doors from their frames as well.
The attack on a civilian neighborhood, he said, did not discourage him – it showed that Russia was in a hopeless state.
“Looking at this, I think we will win,” he said. He said he didn’t even know there were military targets or electrical infrastructure in the area. A nearby factory that once made military electronics closed a few years ago.
“Of course they did this especially on New Year’s Eve,” Suruchanu said. He said Russian President Vladimir V. Putin “wanted to ruin the holidays with fireworks, keep us away from electricity and punish us for not wanting to be Russian.” rice field.
About a mile away, a missile or falling debris slammed into a residential area and exploded with a deafening sound, prompting 26-year-old Irina Sidorec to run to the basement with her 5-year-old daughter Halina in her arms. Ran.
She jumped out and then found herself barefoot and the stairs were covered in shards of glass. She carefully stepped on her feet so that she did not cut herself.
As dusk fell over Kyiv on New Year’s Eve, Sidletz said he had no idea where he and Halina would be vacationing. The apartment was evacuated due to a gas leak. She was preparing Halina’s favorite food, pizza, and Holiday’s presents were still in the apartment.
“Now I don’t know what will happen or where I will spend the night,” she said.
Oksana Trufanova also came across the building’s basement with a disabled child when the explosion started. Then, after the strike, she stood on the sidewalk and repeated, “I hate them!”
The blast blew the window in her apartment off its hinges. They can be repaired, but the vacation she had planned does not materialize. She was preparing her daughter-in-law’s favorites, cherry dumplings and potato dumplings, for New Year’s Eve dinner.
“I cried because I was a little weak,” Turfanova said.
Oleksandr Chubko and Nikita Simonchuk contributed reporting from Kyiv.