Russian President Vladimir Putin continues the assault on Ukraine’s major cities a week after launching a large-scale invasion of the country. He warns West that trying to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be seen as “participation in the armed conflict.”
Every gust of wind loosens another pane of glass, another lump of rubble, sending debris crashing into the streets of Chernihiv, scattering surviving civilians as they navigate their devastated city.
The industrial town of 300,000 sits across the path chosen by a Russian invading army for its advance on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and it has paid a steep price for resisting the assault.
Dozens of civilians have been killed in shelling, missile attacks, and air raids, and now those remaining live among ruins and craters — many of them seeking to escape.
“Russian troops launched a missile on a multistory residential area in the city center,” the head of the Chernihiv Regional State Administration Viacheslav Chaus said in his Telegram channel. “Many apartment buildings were damaged, windows were broken, walls, roofs, balconies were damaged, walls and ceilings were destroyed in some places.”
Ukrainian air defence specialists shot down a Russian aircraft and allegedly captured its pilot on the outskirts of Chernihiv on Saturday. He has been identified as Alexander Krasnoyartsev. It was found out that the pilot had participated in Russian aerial operations in Syria and killed many Syrians in the past years.
A video of the incident was shared by the Ukrainian defence ministry on Twitter. According to reports, the co-pilot, identified as Major Krivolapov, was killed in the incident.
In a video, you can see what appears to be a Russian fighter jet going down near Chernihiv. Watch below:
Pilot Krasnoyartsev was caught pic.twitter.com/UoMAN3yxir
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 5, 2022
Pilot of the Su-24 shot down over Chernihiv today major Krasnoyartsev, captured by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, has been bombing Syrians with impunity for years. pic.twitter.com/KvjviyUvd6
— Maria Avdeeva (@maria_avdv) March 5, 2022
According to SOHR statistics, Russian forces have killed 8,683 Syrian civilians: 2,108 children under the age of eighteen, 1,321 women over the age of eighteen, and 5,254 young and adult men, in nearly six years and a half, since the beginning of their military operations in Syria on September 30, 2015.
Meanwhile, at least 47 civilians were killed in the first strike, and 22 bodies have been recovered from the rubble in the wake of Russian air strikes in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region, the Ukrainian emergency services said in an online post.