Destroyed Komyshuvakha: How the village near Zaporizhzhia looks after 18 shelling attacks a day

Destroyed Komyshuvakha: How the village near Zaporizhzhia looks after 18 shelling attacks a day

Komyshuvakha is located a few dozen kilometers from Zaporizhzhia. On May 11, the enemy struck the village 18 times. Missiles hit civilians' homes and destroyed a street light pole manufacturing company.

An Ukrinform correspondent reported this from the scene.

"This is terror against civilians. There is no military achievement here. They killed a civilian, a grandmother sustained a shrapnel wound and internal bleeding, and a woman in her vegetable garden was wounded. What kind of military achievement is this? This is pure terror. No military equipment or warehouse was destroyed. Only civilians were affected," said Yurii Karapetian, head of the Komyshuvakha merged territorial community.

Yurii Karapetian

According to him, the first explosion in the village was recorded at 04:40. The Ukrainian military shot down a rocket flying towards Zaporizhzhia. An enemy shell fell and exploded on the territory of the Komyshuvakha Metal Products Plant.

At about 14:00, the enemy started the indiscriminate shelling of the village. Seventeen shells hit the village.

"Everything has been recorded. There are fragments, there are funnels. The notification system in the community does not work. But the explosions were so fast that no notification system would have worked," Karapetian added.

The shelling damaged about 60 houses and completely destroyed another 10.

Kateryna, an 83-year-old woman, lives in one of the completely destroyed houses.

She can't talk. She just cries and complains to someone on the phone that the house she and her husband built 60 years ago is gone.

At the time of the attack, Kateryna had just left the building. She took care of her sick daughter, who lives nearby. In fact, it saved her. Her son, Serhii, and her daughter-in-law, Svitlana, came to remove the rubble. They are both crying and don't know what to do.

Neighboring houses were also destroyed. In one of the houses, an elderly woman was injured by a blast wave. She was taken to a Zaporizhzhia hospital with internal bleeding.

According to the head of the merged territorial community, about 8,000 people remained in the community, whereas 5,000 residents (women and children) left.

Karapetian admits that there are no centralized shelters in the community, because no one was preparing for the war here.

He advises people, if they hear at least one explosion, to run to the basement and remember the rule of two walls.

As for the enterprise that was destroyed by an enemy missile, it is one of the most powerful enterprises in the Orikhiv district. According to Andrii Anikin, director of the Komyshuva Metal Products Plant, they planned to install new equipment, which they bought late in 2021.

"At the beginning of the war, the plant was put on hold. About two weeks ago, we decided to resume work. Cement was bought. […] A shell hit the plant very early. On this day, five people had to go to work – they planned to install the equipment. Everything was canceled," he said.

Last year, the company manufactured UAH 3 million worth of light poles for the Zaporizhzhia Bridge. We planned to buy the equipment and also signed a contract with Turkey's Onur to manufacture another 180 light poles for the second part of the bridge. But now these are just plans…

Due to the constant shelling, the community encounters problems with electricity supply.

"[Power] lines are constantly being damaged. The gas pipeline was damaged. Mahdalynivka and Novoyakovlivka were left without electricity today. The military has banned emergency services from working. They plan to restore electricity supply tomorrow," Karapetian said.

Zaporizhzhia Regional Prosecutor's Office has launched criminal proceedings for violating the laws and customs of war, combined with premeditated murder (Part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

Olha Zvonariova

Photo credit: Dmytro Smolienko

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