KIEV – Yuri Zhiganov woke up from his mother’s cry and was in the dust. Before dawn on the second day of Russia’s invasion, their home was hit by shelling on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
He and other civilians were horrified to find that their lives were in danger, and many began to flee. Amid the smoke and howls of car alarms, Zhiganov and his family gathered and joined them.
“What are you doing? What is it?” He said, addressing Russia and pointing to the damaged building behind him. “If you want to attack the military, attack the military. That’s all I can say. “
His fatigue and shock reflected the situation in his country on Friday as people were getting out of bomb shelters, basements and the subway to meet another day of turmoil.
Those who did not wake up from the explosions were awakened by another air raid siren. Then came the news that Russian troops had advanced to the outskirts of the capital.
Russia has said it is not targeting cities, but the fighting seems too close.
The body of the dead soldier lay on the ground near the Kiev underground. Elsewhere, the wreckage of a downed plane smoked among the brick houses of a residential area. Black plastic was thrown at the body parts found next to them.
Armored personnel carriers drove through the city streets. Residents stood restlessly in the openings of apartment buildings and watched.
In the port city of Mariupol, a young girl Vlad was a beginner in the war and already wanted her to stop.
“I don’t want to die,” she said. “I want it all to end as soon as possible.”
Ukrainians were repairing the damage caused by the shelling. And some mourned.
In the town of Gorlovka, a body covered with a blanket lay on the ground near the house affected by the shelling. A man standing nearby was talking on the phone.
“Yes, my mother is gone, that’s all,” he said. “That’s it, Mom’s gone.”
The desire to escape grew. Hundreds of people from Ukraine sought refuge at a train station across the border in Poland. Some curled up on the beds, trying to fall asleep. The woman stroked the young girl’s hair.
One of those who was at the station was Andriy Barysau, who said he heard something flying overhead and then an explosion as he hurried to catch a train from Kyiv.
“It was an unmistakable sound,” he said.
Others hesitated to leave Ukraine, even when standing on railway platforms.
In Konstantinovka, a government-controlled territory in the separatist-controlled Donetsk People’s Republic, a woman who spoke only her name, Elena, was among those who did not identify themselves.
“Fifty to fifty from whether to leave or not,” she said. “But it wouldn’t hurt to leave for a couple of days, for the weekend.”
Others who left Ukraine knew that it could be much longer before they could return home.
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