Berliner Boersenzeitung - 'Every day something burns': Despair on Ukraine's battered frontline

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'Every day something burns': Despair on Ukraine's battered frontline
'Every day something burns': Despair on Ukraine's battered frontline / Photo: ARIS MESSINIS - AFP

'Every day something burns': Despair on Ukraine's battered frontline

Surrounding pensioner Yuriy Krasnikov are apartment buildings scarred by war and the charred remains of bungalow homes in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk shelled by Russian forces daily.

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"Every day there are bombings and every day something burns," Krasnikov told AFP.

Nearby, a fierce fire burned the innards of a technical college -- its ashes clouding the air.

The city of Lysychansk is on the other side of the river from Severodonetsk, where Russian and Ukrainian troops are battling for control.

Many Lysychansk residents have fled since Russia's invasion but many also stayed despite the risks -- among them elderly people, their carers or simply those who do not have money to set up elsewhere.

"There is nobody to help me," said Krasnikov, who uses a walking stick and was wearing a ragged blue shirt.

"I tried to go to the city authorities but there's nobody there. Everyone has run away. They abandoned people!

"Where am I going to go at the age of 70?"

As he showed AFP reporters his badly damaged home, Serhii Lipko said he too was planning to stay in the city despite the steady advance of Russian troops which are now almost encircling both Lysychansk and Severodonetsk.

"In our country, you work your whole life to have a roof over your head. That's why we don't want to go somewhere where we won't have that," he said.

"There are a lot of people in our city who did not leave, because they worked for their own flat their whole life."

Lysychansk resident Ivan Sosnin, 19, said his family had to stay to look after an infirm grandmother.

"This is our home. It's all we know. We grew up here. Where else should we go? And we have no money for a longer stay anywhere else either."

At a sparsely-supplied local food market, Vadym Shvets said he remained hopeful.

"No idea what will happen tomorrow. We don't know how we will live.

"Of course, we hope for the best".

(A.Lehmann--BBZ)