Sergey Panashchuk in Mykolayiv and Oro Whitley in Kryvyi Rih
In the morning hours of July 31, Russia attacked the city of Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, with Iskander missiles.
A rocket hit a nine-story residential building, taking the lives of six people, including Dasha, 10, and her mother Natalya, 45.
"The blast wave from the strike destroyed neighboring buildings, vehicles, and shattered windows in a wide radius. The destruction was appalling. The few minutes before first responders arrived were a surreal eternity", says Oro Whitley, an American volunteer from the charity The Sunflower Project who was just a few kilometers away during the blast.
"People began treating one another with makeshift bandages. A secondary explosion sent a rain of debris into the air. It fluttered down around us, and I realized that much of it was the burning pages of children's books. At this point, I noticed a couple of elders stumbling through the rubble near the rear of the building. They were covered in white dust. I managed to guide them away from the building and towards the street. Military medics arrived before anyone else. They immediately sprang into action. The paramedics, fire department, and police arrived moments later", he says.
"I saw bodies. Carnage. Yet the thing that disturbs me the most is the screaming of a young girl. The trauma that the citizens here are suffering will haunt many generations to come", says the volunteer.
According to the authorities, the building is beyond being restored.