Early Monday, photographers captured several bodies that had been laid in front of a mall entrance. A Washington Post reporter who visited the site after the bodies were removed saw pools of blood and olive-green, blood-soaked jackets on the floor. Abandoned surgical gloves were scattered everywhere – apparently left over from medics trying to save the victims.
“This attack on a shopping center is no coincidence. Putin wants to starve the citizens to pressure their leaders,” Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko tweeted Monday. “Let’s put pressure on Putin’s Russia instead. If you keep doing business with them, you’ll have blood on your hands.”
Just inside the mall, next to a grocery store that a former employee said was now being used for storage, glass covered the floor and there was a large pool of water in the hall. The ceiling was also damaged. Troops guarding the door initially let a group of journalists in, but then forced the press to leave.
Crowds of citizens gathered around the site on Monday to try to take photos and in some cases gain access to apartments belonging to friends or relatives that had been damaged. Some were prevented from doing so.
Witnesses said the strike happened around 11 p.m. on Sunday. Journalists were unable to get to the scene immediately because of a curfew that begins at 8 p.m. across the city and is not lifted until the morning.
Vladyslov Kosiak, 21, was sitting nearby on his fourth-floor balcony when he heard the strike.
“There was a very loud bang and the building started to shake like an earthquake,” he said.
Vitaliya Dubovetska, who lives on the 16th floor of a nearby building, stopped by the scene of the attack on Monday after checking her family’s building nearby, where windows had been smashed.
“The whole city is dangerous,” she said. “Any place can be safe or unsafe, it’s like a lottery.”
Jennifer Hassan and Jonathan Edwards contributed to this report.