Wrenching video and photos Sunday showed terrified masses fleeing the small Kyiv suburb of Irpin — as well as a dead local mother and her two children — amid devastating Russian bombing.
Footage from the scene published by the New York Times shows a damaged bridge on which residents were running over to try to escape the heavily embattled area.
The video starts off with a member of the army speaking — then all of a sudden, a massive explosion hits the street, causing clouds of smoke and dust and sending witnesses into shock and terror.
A photo captured a mother and her two kids dead on the pavement in the aftermath of an Irpin attack. Their father laying besides them had a pulse when the photograph was taken, but his current condition is unknown.
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The bridge that the family was hoping to cross had been blown up by Ukrainians to try to stop Russian forces from advancing toward Kyiv, the Times reported.
About a dozen Ukrainian soldiers were near the bridge Sunday when the explosion went off, not to fight but rather helping civilians cross and carrying their luggage, according to reports.
Soldiers, civilians and medics rushed to help in the aftermath of the attack, which sent people into hiding, unsure if the attacks would continue.
In one photo, a man lies on the pavement with a blanket over his body and his suitcase still by his side. Others show soldiers rendering aid, and people laying prone on the pavement.
Meanwhile, five people were killed and one wounded from Russian gunfire at a checkpoint in the small village of Yasnohorodka on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukrainian officials said.
Russia has claimed it is not attacking civilians.
The attack in Irpin comes amid an effort to create a “green corridor” of safety at least in the southern port city of Mariupol, which has been wrecked by Russian attacks. Plans for the safety corridor failed after cease-fire plans fell apart.
The war has already led to upward of 1.5 million people fleeing Ukraine to surrounding countries and left millions of Ukrainians internally displaced.