February 24, 2024

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In Avdiivka, Ukraine, “no one dares to say: We will survive”

In Avdiivka, Ukraine, “no one dares to say: We will survive”

It was called the “road of life” – asphalt torn by Russian shells, bordered by tall trees. She was the last link between Avdiivka in eastern Ukraine and the rest of the world. We had to pass an equestrian center that had been bombed since the beginning of the invasion in February 2022, where wounded horses had been dying for days. Then, just before arriving, came a straight line completely exposed to the sight of the enemy. Drivers went full speed and Ukrainian humanitarian convoys were always able to deliver supplies.

This summer, residents emerged from basements, cellars, ruins, and unsuspecting hiding places in the ruined city on notice of food deliveries. “Each one pokes his head out of his hole, the life of a beast”, according to one author. We greeted each other mockingly: “So, still alive?” » To tell the truth, it is hard to imagine that Avtivka kept his own sense of humor for so long, the governor of the local military administration Vitaly Barabash says today.

Those who were there felt immortal, of course: here, fighting has been going on since the start of the war in Donbass in 2014. Now the jokes are over. “No one dares to say anymore: We shall survive”, continues Governor Barabash. Moscow troops have launched a third wave of offensives against Avdiivka since October 10, and the “lane of life” is now called the “lane of death.” Civilians or military, the Russians shoot everything that moves. In mid-October, a van carrying bread crashed.

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read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers In Avdiivka, Ukraine, a fierce battle for a fortress

Once again, a city that was nothing but ashes was subjected to a merciless war. This Russian attack “A Sober Reminder: President Putin Hasn’t Gave Up on Taking All of Ukraine”At the end of October, John Kirby, the spokesman for the Security Council, began at the White House. Avdiivka will have symbolic importance for the Kremlin ahead of Russian presidential elections in March 2024.

“Show that Ukraine has not forgotten them”

Its population was 30,000 before the war, and has dropped to around 1,600 since the Russian invasion of February 2022. Only a few hundred remain after new departures in recent weeks. As winter approaches, everyone starts lighting stoves, causing smoke to rise, which is immediately spotted by Russian spy drones. These places were then targeted by artillery “Very Accurate”Says the governor.

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