The police lift the corpse, that of a man named Igor according to his neighbors, before loading it into a van bound for the morgue, leaving only traces of blood on the ground.
The mayor of Sloviansk, Vadim Liakh, arrived on the spot Monday just after the strike, around 8:30 a.m. (0530 GMT), at the same time as the emergency services.
“We are trying to establish (the balance sheet), but there is at least one dead and three injured,” he told AFP as residents, mainly elderly people, clean the broken glass all around.
According to the police, the injured received shrapnel. Tamara, an 84-year-old resident, said one of her neighbors was hospitalized with a chest injury.
“Not even at night, but in broad daylight. How much longer can we endure this?” asks a policeman with his colleague.
Sloviansk faces an intensification of the bombardments of the Russian forces, whose positions are a few kilometers away. With the advance of Moscow’s troops from the north, the city lost its water and gas supply.
Contemplating its shattered windows and its walls full of shrapnel shards, Tatiana Levchenko laments: “How can I live now? All the rooms are damaged, look!”.
“It’s such a pain for us”, continues this 67-year-old woman, showing her cat hidden under a sofa and her hamster still in its cage. Her daughter and her grandchildren have left and live in Lviv, in western Ukraine, relatively spared from the bombardments.
But for Tatiana, there is no question of leaving her city. “Where would I go? The whole of Ukraine is under fire! We have nowhere to hide,” she says, before adding: “Things are bad, very bad. Everyone has cried all her tears. I have no more strength”.
– Shrapnel and broken glass –
In front of a neighboring building, Natalia Petrova came out in a bathrobe to take stock. She was asleep when the strike took place and her husband was at work.
Her house in a village had already been damaged by the fighting and today her apartment was also damaged.
“We no longer have accommodation, neither here nor there,” she notes.
There are no visible military installations nearby.
Cluster bombs, a weapon that sprays a wide area indiscriminately, appear to have been used in a series of strikes on Sloviansk overnight and Monday morning.
Mayor Vadim Liakh assured on Facebook that there were no legitimate targets in the area and that Moscow was at war against Ukrainian civilians. He urged his constituents to evacuate the city.
What appears to be the remains of a Hurricane missile was planted in the ground in a yard, about 100 meters from where the body was found.
“We were saved, it’s a miracle,” said a woman in jeans and a red t-shirt who was clearing broken glass, without giving her name.
During the night, what appeared to be cluster bombs also hit a street on the outskirts of town, causing the same type of damage.
Residents said they often heard the sound of drones flying overhead, but pointed out that the nearby military installation was no longer in use.
Oleksandre, a 39-year-old market worker, had his car riddled with shrapnel. One of his dogs was injured.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, launched at the end of February, has an air of deja vu for the inhabitants of Sloviansk, whose city was the scene of fierce fighting between forces of kyiv and pro-Russian separatists in 2014.
On Oleksandre’s metal door, some impacts date from eight years ago and others are recent.
“I hadn’t replaced the door. It’s like I had a feeling it wasn’t worth it,” he says.