Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
In Donetsk the fighting still continues. On February 2nd the Ukrainian military opened fire at the village of Naberezhnoye. The residents of the settlement had to hide in their bomb shelters or as best they could in makeshift shelters.
The place was visited by our correspondent Mikhail Andronik, whose brief reports shows what life is currently like in the Donetsk People’s Republic:
This is the fifth year that the defenders of the Donetsk People’s Republic have been forced to live in these trenches, they cannot just leave here, just a few kilometers behind their backs are their children, wives, and parents.
They settled themselves on the front line, adjusted their lives, got pets, and built everything that is necessary to carry out their duties month after month.
A fighter from an anti-aircraft squad with the call sign “Mukavey” equips a machine gun, the anti-aircraft gunner watches the airspace and waits for Ukrainian drones, before the war the serviceman worked at the railroad, now he is a soldier. He says that he isn’t afraid of the cold and dirt of the trenches.
The soldier says that the Ukrainian military personnel constantly open fire, attacking with small arms, and sometimes they use armoured vehicles and artillery.
Affairs are not limited to shelling. Lately the UAF has sent sabotage groups, which try to enter the territory of the Republic.
Some nevertheless manage to reach the advanced positions of the DPR. For the last month alone three Ukrainian servicemen were detained by soldiers from the People’s Militia during attempts to enter the territory of the Republic. Here in Donetsk they are trying to open their eyes to who they are really fighting against.
The Northwest outskirts of the city, once busy streets, are absolutely deserted now, all houses have been destroyed, and this is the case not just here either. Four of the seven districts of Donetsk border the front line, so at any time the residential quarters can come under the attack of Ukrainian artillery.
Despite the continuous threat people still live here, generally pensioners. They most of all suffered from the actions of the Ukrainian authorities, many, having worked all their life at Soviet, and subsequently Ukrainian enterprises, now are just forced to survive.
This week the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin said that the integration of Donbass with Russia moved to an intensive phase. Kiev simply hasn’t left the Republics with any other options.
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