Ukraine struggle: Russia bombed Donbass cities very brutally

Dnipro / Slovensk.
“They control a city, and then square by square – no matter what’s inside,” says the captain.

“It’s easy to get to the front. It’s easy,” explains the Ukrainian soldier, in the lobby of the Astoria Hotel in the city of Dnipro in the center of eastern Ukraine. “But stop before you reach Donetsk, the capital of pro-Russian forces, right?” he said angrily.

in Dnipro, the big city on the Dnieper, the war seems far away. Chestnut trees bloom in the streets of Ukraine’s fourth largest city, and people roam around like summer. There are teens eating ice cream, posters advertising rings for luxury brands and an orchestra playing classical music in front of two huge shopping malls. The center of Dnipro is a huge show where restaurants serve huge portions of sushi, hamburgers and XXL pizza.

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War is approaching: black earth, dusty roads and checkpoints

The In front of me 200 km east, a two and a half hour drive on the MO4. Fields of grain and sugar beet are widely scattered to the right and left. In the distance, three stationary windmills seemed to be waiting for the wind. Then the street changes. You can see the first mounds, black earth, dusty paths, checkpoints.

War is approaching. “Things have been raging for three days,” Capt. Yuri Lilavsky, a Ukrainian Army press officer in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, explains.

‘The Russians are putting enormous pressure on the front’

In Celentano, the only pizzeria in total still open SlovianskThe officer says: “The Russians are applying tremendous pressure at the front. They must prove victory to their commander, by any means necessary. They are about to learn from their mistakes. No more helicopters in the sky, no more columns, only artillery.”

The soldier pulls his cell phone out of his pocket and shows dozens of saved photos. “It was 15 days ago. So they sent an armored column to cross the Siverskyi Donets. Our artillery did a great job at Bilohorivka. “

70 percent of Lyman City was completely destroyed

The small screen shows the result of a file Failed Russian military operationN: Torn tanks, water-soaked troop carriers, corpses marred by flames. He continues: “The Russians lost 200 men, 73 armored vehicles, and their brigade commander, Colonel Kozlov. They have been very angry since then.”

The Ukrainian press official swiped his finger on the map to a point located in the south, about 20 kilometers from Sloviansk. “They’ve focused on Lyman recently,” he continues. They have already destroyed 70 percent of the city. He describes the Russian artillery as “squares”.

Systematic Destruction Mechanisms

“That means they pick a square on the map and then bomb it. It doesn’t matter what’s inside. When they’re done, they take a new square, etc.” Sounds like the mechanics of systematic destruction.

Sirens sound outside. Ukrainian radar detected a “flying object” that entered the airspace. Captain Lelawskyj explains: “We don’t know exactly what could be a Russian launcher, cruise missile, or something else.” The siren sound is divided by two for a short time bomb strikes covered away.

The captain warns: You have ten minutes before the artillery bombardment begins

The captain gets up. say goodbye with one warning. “Be careful when driving. Leave the windows open. If you hear a noise in the air that sounds like a lawn mower, it could be a drone. Get out of the car immediately. You have ten minutes before the artillery fire starts,” he said as he fled.

The road to Leman is a stone’s throw from the abandoned city exit. From afar, a column of smoke rises into the sky. It’s from a bombing raid too far away to hear.

Three euros per liter of diesel: the line in front of the gas station is more than 100 meters long

In the end Checkpoint A clean-shaven soldier explains that he can’t go on. There is fighting along the way. Only the locals can pass at their own risk.” The soldier looked nervous and seemed exhausted. “In a kilometer you will be in the crosshairs of the Russians. Yesterday they bombed the street. There were wounded and dead in the cars. This is very dangerous, sorry. “

Two more cities in the east, Sieverodonetsk and Lysychansk, continue to resist the merciless siege. Between Slogansk and Kramatorsk, cars wait in a queue of more than 100 meters to refuel. The price of diesel is 85 hryvnia – almost three euros – the price of gasoline is 55 hryvnia, just under two euros.

In the last two cities before the front, hotels are closed

In the last two cities before the front, hotels were closed for several weeks. “If you are looking for a place to stay, forget about Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. everything for. You may find an apartment for rent. Some locals have been doing it for a while,” one of the waiters at the pizzeria told me.

If you go further towards Kostyantynivka, Druzhkivka or to the small town of Pokrovsk a little to the south, there are still a few open hotels. Until 2016, Pokrovsk was called Krasnoarmiisk, the “Red Army City”, before being renamed after Ukraine’s independence in 1991.

At the Friendship Hotel on Main Street, where the journalists live, “everything is full,” one of the three women at the reception explains to me. Men are in the foreground, and service is in the hands of women.

The only pizzeria has a bronze statue of Mafia boss Al Capone

The only pizzeria still open – “Corleone” – next door is also full. Once the door is opened, guests are greeted by a life-size bronze statue of the legendary Mafia boss Al Capone with a smiling face. Thompson’s machine gun sits in an adjacent display case, punctuated by sepia-colored posters referring to the history of Chicago’s gangsters.

Soldiers enjoying their last cup of coffee in Pokrovsk Square. It’s seven in the evening and the curfew begins in ten minutes. The lights went out. A peaceful stillness descends over the small town. News just broke on Twitter that pro-Russian separatists have claimed to have captured Lyman over the past hour.

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