The awful week in Ukraine demonstrates that no place in conflict is secure.

Olga Prenzilevich sweeps up the trash off the side of the road in a tranquil Kyiv neighbourhood next to a cordoned-off pile of burned-out cars and twisted wreckage.

She is unable to forget the horrifying sight of the government chopper carrying the interior minister of Ukraine smashing into the kindergarten building after flying through the fog. Or the frenzied rush to save the kids later, their small corpses engulfed in flames.

The 62-year-old custodian says, “I am still in shock,” since the pungent smell of burning is still present.

Oksana Yuriy, 33, stands nearby as she observes investigators take pictures of the accident site to try to put together what happened on Wednesday.

She said, “I thought this was a safe place. “Now I see there isn’t such a thing,”

This is the challenging lesson that Ukrainians have had to learn during the past week of mourning at least 59 victims who died in locations that many believed to be safe from the brutality of the country’s ongoing, 11-month war with Russia.

Since February, they have witnessed citizens die in hospitals, schools, theaters, and apartment buildings as well as in missile attacks and battles on the ground. A loved one, a place to call home, and for some of them, any hope for the future, are irretrievable losses they have experienced.

But the cruelty this past week seemed extra-special.

Beginning over the weekend, a volley of Russian missiles struck an apartment building in the city of Dnipro in the region’s southeast that was home to roughly 1,700 people. The bloodiest attack on civilians since April, the barrage on Jan. 14 killed 45 people, including six children, in a region that had previously been seen as secure by many who had fled front-line regions farther east.

Following that, a helicopter crash on Wednesday at a kindergarten in the Brovary neighborhood of Kiev claimed the lives of 14 people, including Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi and other officials from his ministry. On the ground, one child was killed, and 25 people were hurt, 11 of them children.

Despite there being no known official cause, Monastyrskyi, 42, was en route to the front lines when the Super Puma chopper crashed in the fog.

On Friday, flowers were heaped up at the kindergarten’s fence. After learning that aloe vera plants may aid in the recovery of burn victims, a 73-year-old woman hanged a plastic bag filled with the plants.

However, not all of the mourning took place in Brovary or Dnipro.

Oleksy Zavadskyi was laid to rest in a cemetery in Bucha, a town close to the capital, after dying in battle in Bakhmut, where fighting has been fierce for months. Anya Korostenstka, his fiancée, sprinkled dirt on his coffin after it had been buried. She sobbed until she passed out.

At a news conference held on Thursday at Kyiv’s Mariinskyi Palace, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared, “The courage of our soldiers and the motivations of the Ukrainian people are not enough.

He had made an appearance the day before via video link at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when he requested that his distinguished audience observe a moment of silence in memory of those who had died in the helicopter tragedy. Olena Zelenska, his wife, wiped tears from her eyes as she learned about the tragedy. She had flown to the conference to personally rally support for Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador Bridget Brink informed attendees at a gathering on Thursday at Kyiv’s opulent Fairmont Hotel that a few members of the embassy’s employees had perished in front-line combat.

She told her gathering of diplomats, businesspeople, and journalists, “I know a lot of Ukrainians inside and outside the government are grieving right now. Please don’t lose confidence,”

It’s nearly too difficult to deal with on a daily basis, she continued. “It’s a different tale when you look at the big picture,”

Olha Botvinova, 40, celebrated her birthday inside a hospital ward in Dnipro while she was recovering from the missile attack last weekend. She claimed that although it wasn’t her official birthday, she thinks that by simply surviving, she was born a second time.

We intend to continue existing, she remarked.

When Moscow-backed separatists seized control of war-torn Donetsk in 2014, she had fled the city. They were forced to leave once more in the spring of 2022, this time from Kherson when it was conquered by the Russians.

In Dnipro, she believed she would be secure.

The missile attack destroyed the walls of many apartments’ kitchens and bedrooms. Life within has been maintained just as it was just before the explosion: A bowl of apples sat unattended in a kitchen on the eighth floor, its walls a bright yellow color.

Many houses still don’t have windows. Oleksii Kornieiev helped his wife tidy up after his return from the battle lines in the east.

He remarked, “Our family’s mood is terrible,” adding that they must deal with power shortages in the arctic conditions. However, we’re grateful to be alive.

At distribution locations throughout the city, clothes, pillows, blankets, and mattresses were being distributed.

The residents “had everything yesterday, and they have nothing now,” according to volunteer Uliana Borzova.

She said, “I’m trying to hold on.” Because if we don’t, we’ll all just drown in grief.

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