Orikhiv Under Constant Shelling With White Phosphorus, Grad MLRS To Terrorize Civilians
The town of Orikhiv suffers the greatest destruction from the shelling of the invaders in the Zaporizhia Region. Russians tried to assault the town twice, but both times the attacks were repelled by the Ukrainian military. Therefore, the enemy uses their favorite tactic – artillery terror. Those locals who stayed in Orikhiv live under constant shelling in broken houses with only polyethylene and plywood instead of roofs and windows.
During one of the latest attacks in Orikhiv, about 200 shell impacts were recorded in only 6 hours. In the neighboring village, the invaders hit a crowd of civilians who were receiving humanitarian aid, killing three locals, and severely wounding seven.
Oleksandr stayed in Orikhiv until the last moment, until the invaders’ shelling reached his house and coffee shop. He is now convinced that the Russians are trying to drive people away from the city in any way they can. These methods, according to Oleksandr, range from intensifying shelling to using prohibited munitions.
“She was very lucky that it flew a little too high over her head”
Russians failed to gain control over the city but occupied the neighboring villages of Nesterianka, Kopani, and Myrne. Control of the villages allows the Russians to hit the city with almost everything they have. It is mostly civilian objects that are being attacked: houses, schools, kindergartens, parks, stadiums, shops, and even a cemetery.
“The school was the first to suffer, it is located 100 meters from my house. And across the road from it there is a stadium and a park, behind the park there is a cemetery. I have been walking dogs nearby for 17 years. The stadium was hit, the park was hit, and the cemetery was hit. I saw shells sticking out as I walked the dogs, half of them exploded, half of them did not”, Oleksandr said.
According to him, the invaders attack Orikhiv with prohibited shells that cause fires:
“One night it was terrible, they were shelling with [white] phosphorus. We were leaving our houses, and it flew over our heads. At that time, we did not even understand that it was aimed at us, civilians. Phosphorus shells were falling and we were looking at what had caught fire all around us. The neighbor’s garbage caught fire, we stood there, thinking about how to put out the fire”.
Russians increased the intensity of shelling on August 28, when they counted as many as 200 shell impacts in the city in 6 hours. Russians hit homes, kindergartens, and shops. On that day, two children were among the victims – three-year-old Yaroslav and six-year-old Oleksandra, who were concussed, as well as their mother, who was diagnosed with a closed head injury.
“Before that, many people stayed here to the last, because the Russians did not really touch the center, shelling only the outskirts,” Oleksandr said.
One of the Russian attacks virtually destroyed Oleksandr’s family business, a coffee shop. He had opened the establishment after the full-scale invasion, putting off his law practice.
“My family and I worked in a coffee shop for another 2.5 months, brewing coffee for the military. They would say: “See you in Paris”. That’s how they nicknamed the place. The guys even helped to reconfigure the coffee machine to be autonomous,” Oleksandr recalled.
However, after another artillery hit, he was forced to close the coffee shop. This is the “before”:
Source: Oleksandr’s archive
This is the “after”:
The next target was the family’s house. The entire building was riddled with shrapnel.
“When the house where we lived was hit, we left. My window: the glass is intact, but it hit the frame and went through the entire house. Particularly above the sofa, where my wife likes to sit and read, right above it. She was very lucky that it flew a little too high over her head,” Oleksandr said.
Now, Oleksandr is with his family and two dogs in Zaporizhia, where he was forced to relocate. Despite this, the family does not lose hope. According to him, they didn’t even empty out the house or the coffee shop, since they’re waiting for the situation to improve so they can return home.
“We did not take anything out, as a matter of principle. As soon as the situation improves, we will return, fix everything, install windows, and turn on the lights to show that there is life here! It does not matter that everything around is broken. Everything will start working, people will see that and start coming back.”
This article was created by Bihus.Info as part of the project “EU Urgent Support for Civil Society” implemented by ISAR Ednannia with the financial support of the European Union. The content of the article is the sole responsibility of Bihus.Info and does not necessarily reflect the position of the European Union.
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