The Russian missile strikes that hit the heart of Ukrainian cities on Monday (October 10th) have, in a way, plunged Ukrainians back into the dark days that followed the outbreak of war on February 24th. In kyiv, while rescue workers were assisting the injured on the sidewalks, ambulances crisscrossing the streets of the city, firefighters extinguishing the fires, thousands of inhabitants found, during the five hours of the air alert, the way to subway stations and underground shelters.
There are, however, two notable differences between the early days of the war and Monday’s attack: the first is that there are no Russian armored columns rolling towards kyiv and other cities in the country, and that recent defeats Moscow soldiers on the battlefield are even precisely the reason for the punitive operation against the Ukrainian population; the second is that in this eighth month of war, the Ukrainians’ confidence in a victory is unshakable.
“Putin is having a nervous breakdown, but we continue as before”, grumbles in a low voice a Kievan policeman, posted in the street of “tower 101”, whose glass facade has just been blown by the explosion of a Russian missile. Pieces of sheet metal and shards of glass litter the road.
A thick puddle of blood is slowly being absorbed by the sidewalk. “I think the guy who was lying there is dead. He had both legs almost severed”explains Mikhaïl, an electrician who works in the red brick building at the foot of the tower. ” I was lucky. Shards have torn my pants, but I have nothing, continues the worker. First I felt the shock wave, then I found myself in a cloud of dust. Luckily I was away from the tower and the glass didn’t fall on me. » Behind him, a dozen wounded, all in a state of shock, are seated, squatting, lying near a wall opposite the tower. They are gradually taken care of by the emergency services.
” We face. The main thing is to get rid of the invader, resumes Mikhail, whose office disappeared in the explosion. Putin wants to terrorize us, but we are no longer afraid of him. Soon we will have anti-missile systems and it will be just a bad memory. » “We are no longer afraid” is a phrase that keeps cropping up in the streets of kyiv. Many inhabitants of the capital display the same determination as the electrician. “Russia cannot intimidate us”wrote in a tweet jurist Oleksandra Matviichuk, whose Center for Civil Liberties has just been co-awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.
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