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“It’s the fourth or fifth incoming,” said Iryna Yarmolenko, 53, as explosions rang out above. “Oh, dear mother, what should I do? It’s coming in. A lot is coming in.”
With a high-pitched whistle, an explosion and the sound of breaking glass, a mortar then hit near her building. Ms. Yarmolenko, who was not harmed, shared the recording with a Times reporter.
Outside, the poplar trees lining the nearby street were decimated, a tableau of sheared branches, craters and broken glass.
“What is there to describe? Shootings, explosions, the plaster fell off the ceiling, the smell of gunpowder,” said Kristina Makarenko, 24, who had also waited in a basement with her two sons, Timur, 7 and Anton, 2. “How should I know why this is happening. They have cockroaches in their heads. They are idiots on both sides, here and there.”
In the dank space, with a dirt floor, illuminated by a bare bulb, the boys played video games on their phones. “The ceiling fell in and we ran to the basement,” Timur said of how his day had begun on Monday. “We ran and ran.”