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3 Березня 2022

The 5th day of the Russian invasion continues. Russian troops mercilessly shell Ukrainian cities, villages, and infrastructure objects, launch rockets and fires from multiple rocket launchers (“Grad”) on residential and shoot civilians and even children! While addressing the nation, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, informed that 16 children died and 45 were injured by massive Russian shelling during the Russian invasion in just four days. 


The situation remains very difficult in eastern Ukraine, in particular in Volnovakha. On the evening of February 27, it was reported that Russian troops had surrounded Volnovakha and were trying to break through to Mariupol. As of February 28, Mariupol and Volnovakha remain the hottest spots in the Donetsk region - fighting for these cities continues. The city is now in a humanitarian catastrophe. Locals are asking for help en masse. However, there is no way to help people because the Russian army surrounds the city.

 "Private and apartment buildings, infrastructure facilities, a hospital were massively damaged by the shelling of the occupiers (a Russian shell hit an ENT department and a women's clinic). People are constantly in the basements, "said Pavlo Kyrylenko, head of the Donetsk regional state administration. Residents of Volnovakha are asking for help to avoid starvation and bombing by Russia. Kirilenko later said that Russian troops fired from the Grad rocket system at buses traveling to Volnovakha to evacuate civilians. "A convoy of evacuation buses came under fire from “Grad” as it was on its way to the frontline Volnovakha," he said

The coordinator of the "Active Community" in Volnovakha, Yana Tvereza, described the situation in the region first hand.

 “This is hell: Mykolayivka, Donske, Volnovakha, Novotroitske… Villages are being erased. They are recaptured and retreat again. In Volnovakha, the fighting is just in the city center. There are no more buildings there. In Donskoye, Novotroitskoye they shoot straight into residential districts. This is not just a humanitarian catastrophe. This is genocide! People are hiding in shelters, but there is no light, heat, gas, food and, most importantly, WATER! There was no water a week before the invasion, because there were no water tanks”, says Yana.

Yana adds that there is no connection, sometimes someone gets in touch via SMS.

“Volnovakha is shattered, the center was completely destroyed. In Donske, high-rise buildings and a factory are on fire. In Novotroitske high-rise buildings were destroyed. I won't even talk about homes (50-70% of them were destroyed). Yesterday they hit the boiler room. Good thing the gas just caught fire”

Asked if there were any victims of Russian aggression, Yana said there were.

«Nobody will say how many [victims] there are now. Most of them are in Volnovakha. It was 10 yesterday, but these are only those victims who are known. People die. The family of the wounded had just been taken to hospital, and a 10-year-old child was left alone in the basement».

Regarding the mood of the locals, Yana says that "they do not need victory or defeat. They just want to survive. In my stories I have a post of a girl from the vault, my friend».

However, people near Volnovakha are very united. They help, receive migrants, take them out under fire, and bring food to Volnovakha.

We asked Yana, what would she say to the Russian military if she met them?

«Leave us alone!».

Note. The mission of the Active Community: to achieve prosperity through the democratic development of Ukrainian communities. The goal for 2025: to activate and involve at least 1% of citizens in decision-making and promotion of reforms in Ukraine on a systemic basis for the well-being of Ukrainian communities. The initiative was created within the framework of the activity.

Author: Tetiana Kavunenko, journalist, head of the press office of the Institute "Respublika" and All-Ukrainian Initiative "Active Community"

Теги: війна

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