By SAM MEDNICK (Associated Press)
KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — Natalia Kristenko’s dead body lay covered in a blanket in the doorway of her apartment building for hours overnight. City workers were at first too overwhelmed to retrieve her as they responded to a deadly barrage of attacks that shook Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson.
The 62-year-old had walked outside her home with her husband Thursday evening after drinking tea when the building was struck. Kristenko was killed instantly from a wound to the head. Her husband died hours later in the hospital from internal bleeding.
“Russians took the two most precious people from me,” their bereft daughter, Lilia Kristenko, 38, said, clutching her cat inside her coat as she watched on in horror Friday as responders finally arrived to transport her mother to the morgue.
“They lived so well, they lived differently,” she told The Associated Press. “But they died in one day.”
A barrage of missiles struck the recently liberated city of Kherson for the second day Friday in a marked escalation of attacks since Russia withdrew from the city two weeks ago following an eight-month occupation. It comes as Russia has stepped up bombardment of Ukraine’s power grid and other critical civilian infrastructure in a bid to tighten the screw on Kyiv. Officials estimate that around 50% of Ukraine’s energy facilities have been damaged in the recent strikes.
The Ukrainian governor of Kherson, Yaroslav Yanushevych, said Friday that Russian shelling attacks killed 10 civilians and wounded 54 others the previous day, with two neighborhoods in the city of Kherson coming “under massive artillery fire.”
Soldiers in the region had warned that Kherson would face intensified strikes as Russian troops dig in across the Dnieper River.
Scores of people were injured in the strikes that hit residential and commercial buildings, lighting some on fire, blowing ash into the air and littering the streets with shattered glass. The attacks wrought destruction on some residential neighborhoods not previously hit in the war that has just entered its tenth month.
After Kristenko’s parents were hit, she tried to call an ambulance but there was no phone network, she said. Her 66-year-old father was clutching his abdominal wound and screaming “it hurts so much I’m doing to die,” she said. He eventually was taken by ambulance to the hospital but died during surgery.
On Friday morning people sifted through what little remained of their destroyed houses and shops. Containers of food lined the floor of a shattered meat store, while across the street customers lined up at a coffee shop where residents said four people died the night before.
“I don’t even know what to say, it was unexpected,” said Diana Samsonova, who works at the coffee shop, which remained open throughout Russia’s occupation and has no plans to close despite the attacks.
Later in the day, a woman was killed, likely from a rocket that hit a grassy patch nearby. Her motionless body lay on the side of the road. The violence is compounding what’s become a dire humanitarian crisis. As Russians retreated, they …read more
Source:: The Mercury News