Since the first days of the war, Chernihiv was subjected to bombing and shelling. On the approaches to the city, the Ukrainian military gave battle to the advanced units of the aggressor. The invaders approached the city, but did not manage to capture it. When it was not possible to conquer the city, the russians surrounded it and targeted it with missiles. Civilian objects, such as schools, kindergartens, stadiums, libraries, were bombed almost non-stop. It led to the destruction and damage of more than 3,500 buildings.
“We discovered that the enemy fighter jets flew over the city every day at exactly 4:30 in the morning. That’s why we set the alarm clock in order to hide in time to survive them,” recalls an employee of one of Chernihiv’s schools.
After several weeks of massive bombing and shelling, Chernihiv was on the verge of a humanitarian disaster. On March 16, the russian occupiers fired artillery at a line for bread. 14 people died, dozens were injured. The next day, the occupiers covered the queue for water with artillery fire. The consequence is new victims among the civilian population.
Despite the terrible situation, it was also dangerous to leave the city – civilian cars came under fire and were blown up by enemy mines.
On the night of March 23, the russians bombed the road bridge over the Desna River – the main artery connecting the city with the capital and all of Ukraine. On March 25, the last bridge over the Desna, which was damaged by shelling, was closed. The russians systematically shelled the humanitarian corridors to the city. And although the aggressors failed to take over the city, Chernihiv survived difficult weeks of siege and isolation.
Residents of the city, who lived in the bomb shelter of one of the schools for more than a month, circled the date in the calendar on the wall daily, countingdays until the end of the war. Mrs Victoria, an English teacher working at this school, also lived in the bomb shelter. She took yarn with her and knitted warm socks, which she later gave to the soldiers.