Lidia Tikhovska looks at the crater of the last Russian missile that fell on Kyiv and among the rubble, he imagines the charred remains of his son, who died in the attack.
“He’s lying next to the car, but they won’t let me pass”, whispers the woman, 83 years old. Her 58-year-old son had just left the store where he had gone to buy food and other essentials. Right after, the missile exploded. It was the second of the day.
The black hole he left in the ground is big enough to fit a car. Around, a group of policemen and lifeguards measure its depth.
The missile landed next to the building where Tikhovska lives, but she only stares where, according to a rescuer, the body of her son Vitali is.
“They say it’s too burned, that I wouldn’t recognize it, but I want to see it anyway”he snaps.
Tears stream down her pale cheeks as she clings a little closer to her grandson’s elbow for support.
“Now I will be alone in my apartment. What good will it do me?” she asks herself.
“I wish Russia the same sorrow that I feel nowhe says, shaking his head.
In recent days, the fighting has intensified in Ukrainesince Russia The invasion began on February 24.
In kyiv, clashes in the northwest are now accompanied by long-range missile strikes. On Monday alone, at least two people were killed and a dozen injured.
A second front is also opening in the vast industrial districts of the northeast of the capital, an area a little further away.
In the face of growing danger, at checkpoints, the armed volunteers always demand different passwords from the drivers of passing cars.
Soldiers alternate the color of their elbow and calf straps to better distinguish Ukrainians from Russian saboteurs.
This almost tangible paranoia in the deserted streets is accompanied by a defiant attitude towards the forces of the Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, is a few steps away from the remains of Lidia Tikhovska’s son.
The bulletproof vest of this former boxing champion, surrounded by heavily armed bodyguards, dwarfs his square chest.
“The Russians want to sow panic in our city,” he exclaims. “But it will never happen. It will only further motivate the Ukrainians to defend the city,” he adds.
Suddenly, a series of explosions are heard from the northern front of kyiv, so he gets back into his car.
Meanwhile, residents of the area are still trying to understand why Russia decided to hit twice, in the space of a few hours, this sleepy part of their city.
“They want more terror”
Oleksiy Goncharenko, a Ukrainian deputy who took up arms, does not hide his anger at Russia and Westerners, who according to him, do not support his country enough.
“There are no military targets here”says the 42-year-old man, after moving to the places where the missiles fell.
“They only attack for the pleasure of attacking. They want more terror, to terrify people even more.”he thinks
He is not without reason. Many citizens, like Vera Rechechkova, are afraid.
“We bought food at this kiosk the other day and now the person who worked there may not be alive anymore,” says the 26-year-old woman, who works as a hairdresser.
Together with her boyfriend, they observe the situation a block from the place where the missile fell. “It’s just horrible. I do not wish ill on anyone, but Putin … ”, she says, with a handkerchief in hand.