ERR in Ukraine: Russian troops are targeting civilians indiscriminately

Kyiv, Ukraine in February 2022.
Kyiv, Ukraine in February 2022. Source: Erik Peinar

ERR journalists in Ukraine report Russian troops are indiscriminately targeting Ukrainian civilians after becoming frustrated by military failure.

Cameraman Kristjan Svirgsden told radio show "Vikerhommik" on Wednesday morning: "In our hotel in Kyiv there are a couple with a child from Kherson. It was very sad and difficult to watch when they were in contact with their relatives in Kherson, which has fallen under [the control] of Russian soldiers. They said the Russians had indiscriminately targeted civilians."

He said the situation in the center of Kyiv was calm first thing on Wednesday morning. The air raid sirens did not sound and explosions could only be heard from afar.

"On Tuesday we traveled around Kyiv. Ordinary people are trying to flee, but there is no panic. Trains are leaving, people are not asked for money for a ticket, they can only be picked up by queuing. When asking about self-defense positions, the morale of the fighters is high - they are not ready to give up an inch without a battle."

However, there are long queues outside supermarkets and pharmacies and there is little bread or meat on the shelves.

"Yesterday we collected food in the city yesterday and shared it with other hotel guests. We also have other Estonian journalists here, there are also foreign journalists and locals," said Svirgsden.

Anton Aleksejev (left) and Kristjan Svirgsden. Source: ERR

ERR journalist: People stay in Kyiv because they have nowhere else to go

ERR journalist Anton Alexeyev said today the pair would try and drive to the TV which was hit by missiles yesterday.

He said the area attacked yesterday was downtown: "We now know where the Russians may reach."

The journalist said while many people are trying to leave the capital, some are staying as they have nowhere else to go.

"At the moment, it seems the safest way to leave is by train. Roads are not safe and no bus convoy has been formed," said Alexeyev.

ERR correspondent: Ukrainians need respite

ERR correspondent Astrid Kannel, who is in Lutsk in northwestern Ukraine, told ERR's morning show "Terevisioon" it was relatively calm overnight but people are preparing for an attack on the outskirts of the city.

"We really don't know what will happen to this city. If Russia is lucky in the east, they will not leave the west. The patriotism of the Ukrainians is fierce that they will win this war. But this city is only an hour away from the Belarusian border," she said.

Kannel hoped a new round of peace talks would give Ukraine some time to regroup.

Astrid Kannel in Ukraine. Source: ERR

Estonian ambassador: Ukrainians' morale is still strong

Estonian Ambassador Kaimo Kuusk, who is currently based in Lviv, told "Vikerhommik" the flow of refugees has not stopped and many people are still traveling to the west but they are also preparing for an attack.

"And if in the beginning in Western Ukraine it was thought that war would not get there, now we are preparing for it. I went to eat and we were asked for passports, I thought it was for Covid, but it was said that this is the least of our problems right now," he said.

The ambassador said Ukrainians' morale is strong and that the president has been a strong leader. People in the region are pro-western and are prepared to defend themselves.

Kaimo Kuusk Source: ERR

Kuusk said Estonians are still staffing the embassy in Kyiv and there are still Estonians living in the capital, although many are trying to leave.

"We already called for them to leave before the war broke out. But many thought they would stay. Russia's frustration that they are not making military progress has led them to attack peaceful civilians. And this will push the last Estonian citizens [to leave]," he said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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