War in Ukraine | Russia sows death from residential strikes in Sloviansk

(Slavyansk) The corpse of a man, slippers still on his feet, rests in a courtyard in central Slavyansk, a city in eastern Ukraine under pressure from the Russian army. In the morning a rocket burned out a house there.

Posted at 10:20am

Anna MALPAS
Media Agency France

Police lift the body, which his neighbors say is that of a man named Igor, before loading it into a van bound for the morgue, leaving only traces of blood on the ground.

The mayor of Sloviansk, Vadim Liakh, arrived at the scene at around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, shortly after the strike, at the same time as the rescuers.

“We’re trying to establish ourselves [le bilan]but there’s at least one dead and three injured,” he told AFP as residents, mostly elderly, cleaned up broken glass everywhere.


PHOTO ANATOLII STEPANOV, FRANCE PRESS AGENCY

Mayor of Sloviansk Vadim Liakh

According to the police, the injured person received shrapnel. Tamara, an 84-year-old resident, said one of her neighbors was taken to hospital with a chest injury.

“Not even at night, but in broad daylight. How much longer can we put up with this? asks a police officer with his colleague.

Sloviansk is facing an intensification of bombardment by Russian forces, whose positions are a few kilometers away. With the advance of Moscow troops from the north, the city lost its water and gas supplies.


PHOTO ANATOLII STEPANOV, FRANCE PRESS AGENCY

A man fills a bottle of water in front of the town hall in Sloviansk.

Looking at the broken windows and walls strewn with shrapnel, Tatiana Levchenko laments: “How can I live now? All the rooms are damaged, look! “.

“It’s such a pain for us,” the 67-year-old woman continues, showing off her cat hidden under a sofa and her hamster still in its cage. Her daughter and grandchildren were relatively unscathed by the bombing and live in Lviv in western Ukraine.

But for Tatiana, leaving her town is out of the question. “Where would I go? All of Ukraine is under attack! We have nowhere to hide,” she says, before adding, “Things are bad, very bad. Everyone cried their tears. I do not have any strength any more”.

Shrapnel and broken glass

In front of a neighboring house, Natalia Petrova came out in a bathrobe to take stock. She was asleep when the strike took place and her husband was at work.

Her house in a village had already been damaged in the fighting and today her apartment was also damaged.

“We don’t have any accommodation anymore, neither here nor there,” she states.

There are no visible military installations nearby.

Cluster bombs, a weapon that sprays indiscriminately over a wide area, appear to have been used in a series of attacks on Sloviansk during the night and Monday morning.


PHOTO GLEB GARANICH, REUTERS

A residential building in Sloviansk hit by Russian strikes on June 7

Mayor Vadim Liakh assured on Facebook that there were no legitimate targets in the area and that Moscow was at war against Ukrainian civilians. He urged his constituents to evacuate the city.

What appear to be the remains of a Hurricane missile were planted in the ground in a yard about 100 yards from where the body was found.

“We were saved, it’s a miracle,” said a woman in jeans and a red T-shirt, who was removing broken glass without giving her name.

During the night, cluster bombs also appeared to hit a road on the outskirts of town, causing the same type of damage.

Local residents said they often heard the sound of drones but pointed out that the nearby military facility was no longer in use.

Oleksandre, a 39-year-old market worker, had his car riddled with shrapnel. One of his dogs was injured.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February, has brought a touch of déjà vu to residents of Sloviansk, whose city was the scene of bitter fighting between Kiev forces and pro-Russian separatists in 2014.

Some of the cracks on Oleksandre’s metal door are eight years old, others are more recent.

“I hadn’t replaced the door. It’s like I felt it wasn’t worth it,” he says.

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