She was one of three bodies on the littered ground.
One body appeared unrecognizable. A second, with a torn yellow dress and a blue slipper blown off, lay beside a splintered wooden bench. Next to it, there was a box of half-eaten fruit, cherries and apples, speckled with blood.
Inside a purse left on the bench, a mobile phone rang.
Kolesnik was nearby.
Her husband, Viktor, arrived in shock. He didn’t want to let her go. He stroked her head.
“Dad, that’s it,” his son Olexander said, watching as first responders waited to close the body bag. “She is dead. Get up.”
“Don’t you understand?” his father asked.
“What don’t I understand?” the son said. “This is my mother. Dad, please. Dad, please.”
As neighbors watched from the edge of a field, and as authorities began their now-routine hunt for shrapnel, Viktor was left alone on a bench to cry.
“People suffered, for what?” neighbor Sergey Pershin said as he watched medics tend to several people wounded. “It’s horrible. I’m so sick of it. Every night you wake up 10 times, you wait for it to end, wait until they start shooting. What are the bastards doing? There are residential buildings here.”
It was just one day in Kharkiv, where hundreds have died in 19 weeks of war. As Russia reassembles its troops to try to capture more territory in eastern Ukraine, it is safe to say more dead are to come.
As of Sunday, the United Nations human rights office had verified at least 4,889 civilians killed across Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, a number it said likely represented a vast undercount.
Follow AP’s coverage of the Russia-Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine