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Kamila Šebestová
February 24, 2022, 1:26pm
Reading time: 2:58

Young Ukrainian from Kharkiv: Woke Up to the Sound of Bombs Tonight. It's Very Scary, the City Center is Under Attack

Tonight, Russia launched a full-fledged military attack on Ukraine.

Kamila Šebestová
February 24, 2022, 1:26pm
Reading time: 2:58
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Ksenia Tabaka woke up to the sound of bombs falling on the city of Kharkiv tonight. Until now, she denied that this could ever happen. However, the Russians launched a full-fledged military attack on Ukraine.


At 4.45 a.m., the author of this article received the following report.


"I promised to let you know when something happens," Ksenia wrote upset. "The sound of bombs woke me up. It's scary and I still can't believe it's happening. "


Ksenia is 28 years old and, in addition to an internship in regional media, she also works in modeling. But now, she wants to help the Ukrainian army. "I learned to shoot a gun yesterday. It was scary," she says. In just a few hours, she's going to hide in a war shelter. The Russians are already bombing the residential areas in Kharkiv.


Footage from Kharkov at night


In the interview, she explains exactly what happened at night and how the Kharkiv residents reacted to the bombing in the second-largest city.

How was tonight in Kharkiv?

I woke up around one in the morning to the bombing sounds. We looked out the window, but couldn't see anything. I can see the center of Kharkiv from my apartment, and the bombing took place in an area outside of the city. The explosions stopped around five and then started again at half past six, lasting until seven.


Did you have information about what was going on? 

There was nothing in the news at first. It wasn't until around 5.30 that our fears were confirmed. Reports wrote that Russia was bombing Kharkov, Kiev, Mariupol and other places.


Did you get in touch with your family?

We immediately got in touch with our loved ones. It wasn't until around seven in the morning that I called my mother, who lives in Poltava (a city in central Ukraine). I didn't want to wake her up at night so she wouldn't be unnecessarily scared. She could also hear bombs in Poltava.


Ksenia with her boyfriend in Kharkiv

Zobrazit příspěvek na Instagramu

Příspěvek sdílený Kseniia Tabaka (@_ta.ksenia_)



Around eight in the morning, Volodymyr Zelensky declared a state of war in Ukraine. What happened in Kharkiv then?

Kharkiv closed. Cars couldn't get in or out since this morning. My boyfriend and I realized in a panic that we had no food, so we went to the store. The supermarkets were completely full. There were huge lines everywhere. Many people withdrew cash, so there were lines in front of the ATMs as well.


So there's chaos in the city? Yes, people are panicking. They are buying whatever they can in stores. But everyone's treating each other kindly and politely.


What are your impressions from tonight?I hate Putin wholeheartedly. I hope he burns in hell. I'm also very disappointed with the reaction of other countries. If they had put sanctions on Russia sooner, this would have never happened.


How is the bombing going now?

According to our information, the Russians are now already bombing the centers of cities where there's a movement of people. Even in Kharkiv, bombs have landed in residential areas. They also allegedly attacked some apartment buildings.

First, the president told us that they only bomb strategic places such as airports or military depots. But that has changed. The mayor of Kharkiv told us to stay home and not go out unless we needed something essential like food. The subway is now free and people are hiding at the stations.


Are you planning to hide in a shelter?

Now I have to get some sleep because my head is exploding. I've been in severe pain since early morning, I'm very exhausted. I'll probably go to the shelter around one. But I'm also thinking about going to work. I'm a trainee on a regional news channel and I'd like to ask them if they need help with anything.


When we talked about a month ago, you said you'd like to help the military. Are you going to become a nurse?

I wrote to my classmate, who is a soldier if I could help him in any way. He wrote me that the situation is very bad now and he will let me know. The government is now calling all people who know how to shoot or "hold a gun." I tried shooting from a gun yesterday, and it was very scary. For now, I'm helping to raise money for the military, and I may want to help with medicine in the future. I also work with Stand With Ukraine.


Source: Instagram/Ksenia Tabaka, Telegram/t.me/hueviykharkov/45926




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Thumbnail: Instagram/Ksenia Tabaka, Telegram/t.me/hueviykharkov/45926
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