“It is no longer livable” In Mykolaiv, the Russian army deliberately targets civilians

The weather was beautiful this Sunday in Mykolaiv, for the first time in a week. An azure sky, hard light, no wind in this almost besieged city in the south of Ukraine. Ideal conditions that allow you to fine-tune artillery fire and take advantage of data sent by reconnaissance drones to target accurately.

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The rain of steel fell on the citizens. On Sunday morning around 11 am, a volley of rockets fell on the avenue of the heroes of Ukraine, in front of a shopping center. Nine people were killed, according to regional governor Vitaliy Kim. According to the same source, four civilians died in the mid-afternoon when a Russian bomber dropped an explosive device on a school in the village of Zelionyi Hai, not far from Mykolaiv military airport.

Vitaly Kim (center), the governor of the city of Mykolaiv (Ukraine), March 9, 2022.

Two hours after the massacre in the Avenue of the Heroes of Ukraine, the place is deserted. A police officer at the closed mine watches the parking lot. The explosions blew up the windows. Three impacts are visible in the tarmac, many small holes pierced by shrapnel in the storefronts. On the asphalt are black plastic sheets to cover the bodies. One of them partially hides a large pool of thick blood.

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The few passers-by accelerate their pace. Nadia Emelianenko, 70, says she has heard many successive explosions. It was only 50 yards behind the corner of a shop. “I saw several people lying, people moaning, others inert. And a dead dog she remembers. “It was terrifying! I couldn’t do anything to help, my back hurts too much to bend over. Besides, my kids forbid me to go out on the streets because of the danger, but I can’t help it. I don’t have much time left to live, so I can take risks better than my children or my grandchildren. †

A distribution of food aid by the Red Cross, in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, March 10, 2022.

Waiting for evacuation bus

A lady and her teenage daughter observe the macabre scene as they walk. “We come here to shop because in our village in Kapustyne all shops are closed, we are constantly bombed”says Ania, the mother. “Today there is no more public transport, we walked for two hours and I could only buy a fruit juice”, she said, showing the bottle apologetically.

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The alley along the shops leads to a group of buildings. The bloody corpse of a dog lies near a garage. The rain of rockets hit the whole neighborhood. Glass splinters and other debris are on the floor. Families leave, dragging suitcases on wheels or loaded with bags. An elderly couple loads a car. The man shows a shrapnel that has shattered the window of his apartment. “We are moving to my daughter, who lives in the centerhe explains. It is no longer livable here. We can no longer close our eyes. I’m going crazy ! †

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