April 1, 2023

Lakeview Gazette

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War in Ukraine: Pakmut, the most expensive looted city for the anniversary

Chasiv Yar, Bakmut.- “The situation is difficult, but we don’t want to give up.” The roar of the cannon makes all tremble, and the day freezes in the condemned Donbass And “Chicago,” the name of a Ukrainian soldier de Guerre tries to convey a determination he lacks.

It was three o’clock in the afternoon on a sunny but cold day Who is Chasiv?Another ghost town in this part of southeastern Ukraine has been under fire and controversy since 2014, making it critical to an all-or-nothing defense. Bakmuth, The center of the fight In these anniversary days, it has become a very expensive booty, A symbol of how this never-ending war could evolve.

Chicago was one of 50 players who arrived to bolster the Buckmuttle attackElisabetta Piguet – The Nation

The Russians have been trying for more than six months to capture Bagmuth, ten kilometers away. By intensifying the offensive in recent weeks, there are those who believe they will achieve it: they have more men, more resources, more weapons. Everyone knows that Bakmuth has just been captured, ahead of the first anniversary of the “Special Operation”. Vladimir Putin It turned out much worse than expected, and for the Kremlin it may have been an inevitable military victory. Or, at the very least, to incite a successful patriotic campaign at home necessary to boost the morale of the Russian invaders.

To the west of Bakmut is Chasiv who attracts. Not only because the blasts of war’s bombs are so closely felt. Now that there is none, Its snowy streets look like something out of a movie set. No one could make it past the snowdrifts. Abandonment is total. What you see is a militarized city, barricades, buildings partially intact, partially bombed, silent witnesses to the horror.

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Before the invasion began, the Chasiv Yar had about ten thousand people. Now, as “Chicago” says, only a few civilians remain. “They don’t want to leave home. For example, there are about ten people in this house,” says the soldier, pointing to a three-story building with brick-up windows.

“Chicago,” who cannot give his name and is a native of the city of Sumy in northeastern Ukraine, is part of a regiment. Two days ago 50 soldiers arrived in Chasiv Yar to reinforce this area which has become a frontline and many fear it could fall.

Chasiv Yar is an abandoned city todayElisabetta Piguet – The Nation

His platoon occupies an empty building – almost everyone has left – that will be a logistics base for military operations. This is the only route for Ukrainian troops to bring ammunition and supplies to Bagmuth. And you can see it. Traveling from the small and nearby town of Kostiantynivka on a potholed, snowy and icy road, the coming and going of army trucks, armored vehicles and above all, ambulances is interesting.

Cannonballs mingle with the hum of generators at an army base being prepared in a now-vacant residential building. They are trying to heat the basement, where they put twenty beds for the soldiers to rest. An army truck can be seen outside, soldiers coming and going, tidying up the place and digging ditches. They are not the only ones. Although they could not give details, they explained that there are still many troops in the area, which are precisely firing artillery against the Russian enemy.

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“Chicago”, who admits that the situation is difficult and that the Russians are bombing all the time – in fact, the destruction is visible -, like all Ukrainians, shows determination. Smiling nervously that it will not be an easy time, he quickly adds: “We are going to fight against Russia, against Russian soldiers.” “We stayed here for our land and we have no choice but to fight every day.” States, in English.

Although she says that they are in Chasiv to protect the few remaining citizens, at that moment a woman in a woolen hat appears, speaks in Russian, gestures, prepares a new base and begins to tell the soldiers who are there. He wants them to go. “Go away, if you’re here they’re going to bomb us, we’re going to be the target! They don’t need to be here!” he shouts, beside himself. Part of the pro-Russian population is waiting for Vladimir Putin’s forces to arrive.

Ten kilometers to the south, in another deserted town called Kostiantynivka, home to about ten thousand people, a woman does not want to leave her home.

Destruction at KostiantynivkaElisabetta Piguet – The Nation

“I am 72 years old and I cannot leave everything here. My daughter is in Moscow and she said she can buy me an apartment and I can move there, but I can’t. I don’t want to leave my house. I am too old for this”, says Tatiana, who refused to evacuate another city that has been on fire since 2014. That’s when a low-intensity fratricidal war broke out in the Donbass between pro-Russian and Ukrainian separatists amid world indifference. After Putin’s invasion on February 24 last year, a war that plunged the world into a kind of new Cold War is now under the planet’s magnifying glass.

Tatiana is the girl who decided to stay in KostiantynivkaElisabetta Piguet – The Nation

Tatyana, with a cart, goes to the municipal center to visit the food pantry, where many old people are seen, with fur coats to protect themselves from the cold and punished faces. “We must stop this war, too much blood has already been spilled”, Tatiana whimpers as she speaks in Russian. Artillery shells can be heard in the background. “I’m sorry for the Ukrainian mothers losing their children, I’m sorry for the Russian mothers losing their children… We need to stop this war and start negotiations. I hope everyone will find peace,” he said.

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