A small group of Ukrainians knelt and prayed as Russia conducts a widespread bombing campaign in Ukraine, while hundreds of civilians flocked to a subway station to escape the incoming explosions.
CNN’s Clarissa Ward witnessed a small group of Ukrainian civilians in Kharkiv gathering to pray early Thursday morning.
“This really speaks to the desperation of this moment, we just see a small group of people … and they are kneeling and praying because right now there is truly a sense of having no idea what is coming down the pipeline, what is in store for the people of Ukraine in the coming hours, coming days.”
CNN witnesses a small group of Ukrainians in Kharkiv gathering and kneeling in prayer.
“So, to see these people kneeling on the cold stone in prayer is
honestly — it’s very moving,” Clarissa Ward.#PrayForUkraine pic.twitter.com/47NgqwbXxA
— Nicholas Fondacaro 🇺🇦 (@NickFondacaro) February 24, 2022
“It’s freezing cold here. So to see these people kneeling on the cold stone in prayer is honestly, its very moving. I think it speaks to the state of ordinary Ukrainians here who have done absolutely nothing to deserve this. who have no quarrel with Russia, who have no desire for war or conflict, who are not engaged in the geopolitics underpinning this, but who will ultimately be the ones to bear the brunt.” (RELATED: ‘They Have Taken This Airport’: CNN Reporter Watches Live As Russian Forces Take Over Airport Outside Of Ukraine Capital)
Meanwhile, Washington Post reporter Salwan Georges tweeted a video showing hundreds of Ukrainian civilians, including many women and children, seeking shelter in a subway station as Russia bombed the city.
Hundreds of people, including many women and children are currently taking shelter inside a subway station in Kharkiv, #Ukraine as explosions are heard in the city. @washingtonpost pic.twitter.com/ZddeHqlMvU
— Salwan Georges (@salwangeorges) February 24, 2022
Russia launched a widespread bombing campaign early Thursday morning after President Vladimir Putin claimed they were conducting a “special military operation in Donbas.” Donbas is occupied by two separatist groups, the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, both of which were recognized by Putin on Monday. Putin claimed Russia wants to “demilitarize and de-Nazify” Ukraine but not occupy it.
Despite his claims, Russian forces have targeted cities outside of the region, including Kyiv, Lutsk, Odessa, Kherson, Lviv and several others. At least 10 civilians have died from the bombs, CNN reported, citing Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych.