25 km from the front, in the industrial town of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, men and women work as woodworkers. The winter will be harsh: there is no gas and the fight continues. Between two rows of buildings from the 1950s, in the middle of a large leafy garden, Oleksandr Matwiewski, a 42-year-old worker, takes his chainsaw and hacks and burns all the dead trees.
This residential district arranges to feed small brick ovens for cooking in front of each building and build reserves for heating stoves while waiting for fall and winter. According to local authorities, gas supplies were disrupted in May in the Donetsk region, partially controlled by the Ukrainian military, where Kramatork is located, and neighboring Lugansk, which is occupied by Russian forces. According to the same source, the fighting damaged infrastructure.
At the end of July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the evacuation of citizens from the Donetsk region was mandatory, especially in anticipation of winter. “Please leave,” he urged them.