- Ukrainians sheltering in Kharkiv told Insider they can hear bombs repeatedly going off.
- A 35-year-old woman in Kharkiv said she’s been sheltering in the basement with her son.
- Another woman said she’s “under constant stress” and can feel “my hands shaking and my heart racing.”
Ukrainians say they’re “trembling” as they listen to bombs go off in Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city.
One Ukrainian woman said she’s hiding out in the basement of her apartment as she hears planes fly over Kharkiv. Marina, a 35-year-old mother, told Insider she’s sheltering with her mother, her 6-year-old son, and some neighbors.
At 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday, she heard at least four planes pass by within the hour, Marina told Insider. “I am scared to death,” she said. “I am trembling and crying.”
Attacks in Kharkiv intensified on Tuesday morning when Russian forces fired missiles, hitting government offices, an opera house, and a concert hall in the city’s Freedom Square. Missiles also hit residential areas, according to a video posted to Telegram and regional officials. So far, at least 11 people have been killed, according to local officials.
“The Russian enemy is shooting targets [in] residential areas of Kharkiv, where there is no critical infrastructure, where there are no positions of the Armed Forces that the Russians could target,” Oleg Sinegubov, a senior regional official, wrote on Facebook.
On Tuesday night local time, bombs continued to go off, according to Ukrainians who spoke with Insider.
“We don’t deserve it,” Marina said. “Our children don’t.”
—Sinéad Baker (@sineadbaker1) March 1, 2022
Marina said she and her son travel down from the fourth floor where they live to the basement when they hear sirens. They go back upstairs “when it’s okay” to eat and change clothes, she told Insider in a previous interview.
The basement is “unlivable,” she said. There’s no heating, and it’s so cold that she and her son have to wear coats while down there.
In a video shared with Insider, Marina can be heard breathing heavily as planes whoosh through the sky in the near background before there’s a large booming sound.
Svitlana, a 25-year-old woman in Kharkiv, told Insider she’s also hiding out in her basement as she hears bombs go off. The lights went out yesterday, she said, so she lit candles to be able to see while sheltering.
“The aircraft is flying over and over,” she said in a call, noting that she hears a “bomb sound.”
Both Marina and Svitlana asked to be identified using only their first names for safety reasons.
“I feel under constant stress, and I feel it’s getting more and more difficult,” Svitlana told Insider.
She said she’s heard explosions in her area for days.
On Tuesday night local time, Svitlana said she’s so scared that “I feel like my heart could stop.”
The planes are the “most terrifying,” she said because she can hear them flying directly over her building.
Svitlana says she wants to flee the city. She’s planning to stay in her basement through the night but will try to vacate with her cat in the morning.
“Right now I just hope that they will do some kind of attack at night and then in the morning when we can go outside we will have a safe time,” she told Insider.
“I often feel my hands shaking and my heart racing,” she said.