For five weeks, from February 25 to March 31, Russian military besieged and shelled Chernihiv with large caliber rockets before the Ukrainian army could liberate the city. Before the war, the regional capital in north-eastern Ukraine had around 286,000 inhabitants; today there are 150,000, says Mayor Vladislav Atroshenko in a telephone call to the Tagesspiegel.

“Chernihiv held back the advance of Russian troops on Kyiv and the city suffered significant damage.”

Chernihiv was once an important center of Kyivska Rus’, and the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ, built around 1036, has survived from this historical period. But up to 80 percent of the city has been completely or seriously destroyed, reports Atroshenko.

Here we give his list of the damage: “The building of the regional branch of the Security Service of Ukraine, police stations, all hospitals, the youth center, the main post office, the cemetery, a hardware store, marketplaces, hotels, the university, three libraries, the stadium, the oil depot, the thermal power plant, the underground supply lines and the infrastructure in the ski area.”

In addition, 16 bridges were blown up throughout the Chernihiv region. Only 15 of the 75 kindergartens were not shot at. Atroshenko puts the number of destroyed and uninhabitable apartments in his city at 37,649. Then further decisions will be made,” says the mayor.

Atroshenko reports on the reconstruction plans: “As soon as the Chernihiv region was liberated from the attacker, the state provided us with funds from the reserve fund for the Chernihivvodokanal utility company.” get the water, gas and electricity lines. They started by repairing the roofs, windows and canopies of the houses.

About 30 million hryvnia were allocated for it from the city budget. Eight billion hryvnia ($272 million) would be needed to rebuild the entire destroyed housing stock.

“Chernihiv has always been a clean city. Even during the bombing, utility workers were cleaning up trash and the aftermath of the bombings,” says Atroshenko. The citizens would not have waited for external help.

Those who survived and were able to leave the shelters for a short time cleared away the rubble and glass splinters around the houses to create corridors for the helpers and for everyday supplies. According to official figures, the number of war dead is 700 people.