One young woman who was waiting in line for fuel said her apartment window was blown out by the blast.
“My boyfriend had called me right before that and said, ‘You need to get up, the war has started,’ ” 18-year-old Kristina Nimenko said.
“Now we’ve come to get gas just to be ready for everything.
“We just want peace,” she added.
After the early-morning sounds of explosions on the city’s outskirts, Kharkiv residents in Ukraine’s east, until now sceptical of Western claims that a Russian attack would come to their homes, turned to the tasks they had been putting off.