In Dnipro, there is sadness, exhaustion and anger.
In the early hours of Saturday afternoon, as families relaxed in a central Ukrainian city, a Russian missile struck a nine-story building overlooking a park near a river, killing at least 40 people and injuring 75 others, with 46 people reported missing. .
The center of the building is now empty, turned into a mountain of broken concrete. Rooms were cut in half as the weapon – with a warhead of about one metric ton – penetrated into the basement.
Svitlana Lishchynska, who lives in a neighboring house, said the impact shook everything from the fence of her house.
“At the same time, my daughter, who went for a walk with her friend, called me and told me about the big explosion. I ran to him. “The closer I got, the more it looked like hell,” he said.
“When I got there, I froze – the two entrances are no longer there. They turned into a pile of concrete and a closed hole. It was a picture of the apocalypse. Everyone was confused, because it was impossible to believe that this was happening to us.”
Thirty-six hours after the earthquake, smoke was still billowing in the cold air as heat was released. The rescuers drowned in the debris, their hope of finding anyone alive dwindling by the hour.
Another 35 people are still missing, according to Ukrainian authorities. The last person to be rescued was heard calling just after midnight on Saturday. It took nine hours to reach him, during which he had severe hypothermia.
Small groups of people stood quietly behind the porch Sunday night, some still hoping for a miracle, others holding flowers or lighting candles. A few wiped away tears, as they watched the bullets collide with concrete slabs and steel bars.
Above them, on the fifth floor, firefighters accidentally swept the trash from someone’s living room. Torn curtains fluttering in the wind.
On the top floor, half of the kitchen had been pushed over the edge of the empty space. Not long ago, a birthday party for one of the children living there took place, an event that was recorded on the Instagram page. Their father, a well-known boxing coach, was killed in the attack.
Olha Nevenchanaya said that she passed by the building 30 minutes before it was hit. “I have many friends and neighbors here. Many, many…,” he said, before collapsing.
More than 30 people are still in hospital – 12 of them are in critical condition, according to Natalia Babachenko, adviser to the commander of the Dnipropetrovsk army. A 9-year-old girl is one of the people who were seriously injured.
Most of the injured were taken to the Mechanikova hospital, where the chief doctor, Serhii Ryzchenko, said people arrived covered in blood and dust, their clothes torn. Pieces of iron and concrete were all over their bodies.
However, amidst the despair, there were also moments of joy. Another soldier serving in Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, Maksim Omelianenko, rushed to Dnipro to see if his mother was still alive.
“I heard that, perhaps miraculously, my mother survived, in the kitchen, the only part of my apartment on the 9th floor, which was under the stove,” he wrote on Instagram.
The missile that hit the building was a Kh-22, according to Ukrainian government officials.
The Ukrainian military says it does not have the ability to shoot down such weapons, which are designed to sink ships, not destroy buildings.
The Kh-22 was produced in the Soviet era and is known to be defective. Despite this, there are no military or construction targets within a few hundred meters of the destroyed building.
More than 200 Kh-22s have been launched against Ukraine since the invasion began, the military says. One hit a shopping mall near Kremenchuk last September, killing at least 18 people.
The building stood on Naberezhna Peremohy – Embankment of Victory – named after the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.
“When they gave this name to this street, they had in mind the Nazi victory in World War II,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday. “And we must do everything we can to stop Ruscism, just as the free world stopped the Nazis.”
Now the building of 118 Naberezhna Peremohy will be remembered in Dnipro as a symbol of another war.
Standing outside on Sunday, shocked by the extent of the destruction, Dnipro resident Olena Loyan cursed the Russians.
He said: “I hate them.” “Children, people, died.”