I can hear big bangs from my flat. Every 2 minutes or so. I don’t know if these are gunshots, explosions or bombs. Whatever it is, we have never heard sounds like this before. We are confused, scared and laying low. As the bangs keep coming, I go to the balcony to investigate. My housemate Marina is worried and says it’s too risky to look out. Our other housemate on the phone tells us to lie on the floor and if things get worst to come and join her. She is staying on the left bank of Kiev with her employers since it is too dangerous to travel there and back and the metro still remains closed. We are 3km from Maydan, our street has been quiet throughout the crisis but today echoes of war have reached us.
“They are allowed to shoot with real bullets now” Marina tells me with a panicked look. Both of us are no longer going to work, people at her office were told to leave after an hour or two. With the free time many are aiding activists by sending medical supplies and food. I have been given the week off and all my employer’s offices are closed. Schools, shops, banks, and most businesses have shut up shop.
The government has declared an “anti-terrorist” operation. The Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defence, State Customs Service of Ukraine, and central and local authorities are all involved. The Head of the SBU (security service of Ukraine), Oleksander Yakimenko, issued a statement yesterday informing of the operation to combat terrorism and 1500 firearms and 100000 bullets have been seized by “terrorists” and “criminals”.
People are uprising across the country, government buildings have been set on fire in at least 9 regional capitals: Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Lutsk, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Uzhgorod and Rivne.
In Boyarka which is 21km from Kiev, patients with minor illnesses have been sent home to give way to those seriously injured in the clashes in the capital.
Police, military, and “Titushki” government hired thugs, roam the city. Under the anti-terrorist operation anyone can be arrested and held for up to 72 hours, police can raid property and vehicles without a court order, and cut internet and mobile phone connections.
All roads to Kiev starting from Poltava which is 300km from the capital have been closed and no public transport can enter the city. Petrol stations and bridges could also be closed soon in order to further restrict movement.
There are reports that The President is looking to announce a State of Emergency at any moment. The army will be in full control, the country will come to a complete halt, planes grounded, all internet and phone connections cut, and a curfew imposed. We are already under lockdown, however a State of Emergency will bring complete darkness and leave us at the mercy of the military.
One can already get shot walking down the main Kreschatik Street, which is usually lively with street entertainers, busy shops, cafes and bars.
61 people have been killed this week, 35 by noon today.
This is no longer a crisis, this is war.
The loud blasts have ceased for now, who knows what will be next.