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Uman, Cherkasy – the Heart of Ukraine is hurting

May 11, 2023 | News, Ukraine, Life, Featured, Politics

Natalia Havrylenko

About ten apartment buildings were damaged as a result of the Russian missile attack on Uman on April 28. An entire entrance way was destroyed in one. Rescuers worked for 35 hours to find the injured Uman residents – searching and extracting them from the rubble. There was fire, smoke, tears, moaning and death. All around them – a crowd of people and a heap of debris and objects from those apartments.

On April 28 at 05:55, regional authorities reported that two rockets hit Uman: one in a residential high-rise building and the other in some warehouses.
On April 28 at 07:17, three people were confirmed dead and eight were injured as a result of the Russian missile. Then, with each passing hour there was a struggle for life, the number of injured and dead increased.

On April 29 at 19:40, there were 23 officially confirmed victims of enemy shelling, including six children. 18 were injured and another 17 residents were rescued. Almost 200 people were resettled into temporary housing.

«The entrance was completely destroyed, it was simply gone»

– My grown children live in a neighbouring building, I rushed to save them, and I just got to the scene when everything was already on fire and smoking.
– We miraculously survived, but my neighbours, who moved into this building back in the 90s with us, are gone. None of them are alive…The entrance was completely destroyed, it was simply gone…

The ruined highrise building in Uman

– We woke up from a strong shock, everything in the apartment began to rumble and fall down. After recovering, we rushed to the door, it was blocked, we ran out to the balcony and saw that the neighbouring building was on fire. The rescuers helped us to climb down the balcony.

Dozens of stories of alarmed, grief-stricken Uman residents who are scarred with their heartbreak.

Natalia was looking for her nephew and niece that morning, they lived on the 8th floor. She didn’t find them in the hospital or in the morgue either. On April 29, she was informed that her nephew Kyrylo and niece Sophia had been identified among the dead. Her youngest 6-year old nephew survived. The family was from the Luhansk oblast and have been living in Uman for 6 years.

Cynicism of the enemy

On the same day, Russian television released footage of a destroyed nine-story building in Uman as the result of the “shelling of the Donbas by Ukrainian militants.” Video footage of the destroyed building was included in this plot of the Russian TV channel.

As to the Uman shelling, there was a message on the Russian Ministry of Defence’s website: “precisely on target.”

– “Their cursed ‘on target’ – it only managed to convince us to hit the enemy harder and more fervently so that the earth will burn from our rage and pain”, commented a serviceman fighting near Bakhmut. Unfortunately, crimes against civilians have always been part of their plan.

No comment

The children killed by Russia in Uman at dawn on April 28, 2023 were sleeping when their residential building was hit by a rocket…
An 8 year old Ulyanka died with her father Roman, his wife Antonina and grandmother…
An 11 year old Sofia and her 17 year old brother Kyrylo. A few years ago, the family tried to escape the war from the Luhansk region…Their mother, father and younger brother are alive.

A one and a half year old Ivanko, with his mother 28 year old Olena.
A 16 year old Oleksiy and his 10 year old sister Alina died with their mother Ira, grandmother and aunt.

Uman today

It is simply impossible to walk past the ruins of the destroyed, burned buildings without feeling the mourning, pain and despair around them, no Ukrainian soul is capable of such a thing when they see war and death with their own eyes. On the other side of the street there are toys and flowers on bright green lawns watered by the rains, a memory that there was once life here. Uman residents have begun to bring these in the morning of the attack, when the first dead bodies of children were taken out of the ruins…

– “I’m afraid to go to bed, it’s probably stress, I sit in front of the Mother of God icon until dawn” – says Olena, a resident on a nearby street, a pensioner. “How much pain and fear we all go through during these terrible days, words cannot describe all the rage and hatred we have towards the enemy. At noon, I heard that a help point was organized at a local school, I took over some warm things: a blanket, jackets, several sweaters. The windows in our apartment were damanged by the shock wave. I sincerely sympathize with the bereaved, I sincerely pray for every murdered soul. And in my prayers, I ask for Victory!”

The Cherkasy region was in mourning for three black days. Now, Uman is recovering little by little… People are walking along the streets, hurrying on to their errands, businesses are working as usual, except for the schools as children have gone on forced breaks, spring is blooming and despite everything, we want to live.

Beyond the scenes

Do we have the strength to list all the trouble the war has brought upon our land? How many graves were dug, how many thousands of tons of soil removed for dugouts and trenches, kilometers traversed from one position to another? How many crosses with the inscription ‘An unknown defender of Ukraine is temporarily buried here’? How many black bags must be opened to find some sign so the Hero can be identified and returned home? How many tears have already been cried, and how many more will there be? How many thoughts, worries, sleepless nights, phone conversations? How many prayers to the Almighty? And how many kilometers of camoflauge nets have been woven, “kikimors” made, money collected, transfres made, perogies pinched, loafs of bread baked, children born? And not born. And how many killed… How many hectares of wheat burned by enemy strikes? How many people and property saved at the cost of how many lives? How many Ukrainians have been scattered around the world? How many Ukrainians did fate send back home, to war?
How many children were left without parents, without legs, without hands, without a home? How many were robbed, tortured, raped, killed, intimidated, deported? How much violence can one nation withstand? How many more bullets and rockets do you have to take from the enemy in order to survive?


Monday May 1 began with a lingering anxiety. For almost three hours, the Ukrainian defenders held the sky over their country…

To the world: we want to live, we will hold on!

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