By Luis Lidón
Kharkiv, Ukraine, Jun 27 (EFE).- Alla Zabolotnya was sitting on her sofa on Sunday when a ballistic missile landed just outside her house, destroying her orchard and roof.
“If it wasn’t for this door I wouldn’t be alive, because you see, everything is destroyed,” the 68-year-old retired music teacher tells Efe as she points to the devastation just outside her front door.
The explosion left a 15 meter wide hole in the middle of the street in the Shevchenkovskiy district of Kharkiv but luckily, no one was injured.
“It’s a miracle no one was killed,” Zabolotnya says.
Zabolotnya lives with Leonid Romanov, an 84-year-old retired engineer who used to work on the Soviet space program.
“This is the gift (Vladimir) Putin has now sent me,” he says pointing at the large crater in the street just outside their house.
Zabolotnya and Romanov, like the majority of Kharkiv’s population, are Russian speakers, but do not want to be part of Russia.
“This is a war crime,” Zabolotnya says, looking at her garden.
“It’s a horror that they are targeting civilians in the 21st century,” she says.
“How many people has Putin killed? In Chechnya, in Georgia, in Ukraine. Young Russians and Ukrainians, all for his imperial ambitions. all for his fascist ideas of creating a great empire,” says Romanov.
Meanwhile, Zabolotnya is picking up the debris from what used to be an orchard filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, vines, daisies and elderflowers and neighbors have gathered to start cleaning up the street.
“The most important thing for now is to repair the roof so that no rainwater can get in,” Romanov says.
According to Ukrainian authorities, Russia has destroyed over 4,000 residential buildings, some 100 medical centers and 430 educational institutions in the Kharkiv region, which has been a key target in the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. EFE