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Life, but only as Lysychansk is bombed day and night

#Life #Lysychansk #bombed #day #night

Lyudmila says she can no longer bear to live like this while pitting cherries outside the basement in eastern Ukraine that has been her home for the past three months.

Their small town of Siwersk was heavily shelled in March. Now it’s back in the line of fire as the Russians advance on Lysyhansk, the last major city in Donbas’ Lugansk region still in Ukrainian hands.

“Three months ago they (the Russians) shot here, now it’s more likely to go there,” said the 66-year-old amid the roar of shells raining down on Lysychansk, with white smoke hanging over the city on the horizon.

“The bombing continues day and night,” said another woman, who was pulling a cart to fetch water from a well.

“We haven’t had electricity or gas for three months,” Lyudmila said as a woman prepared potato pancakes over a fire in a corner of the basement.

The neighbors show AFP their “bedroom” with a flashlight.

“Look, the mattresses are over there in the corner and we’ve spread them out here on the floor.”

– ‘Toilet paper?’ –

In the dark of the basement next door, a 90-year-old woman is leaning on a walking frame. She needs medicine, but it’s impossible to find any. The last pharmacy in town has closed and shops have been closed for weeks.

“Do you have toilet paper?” a young man walking by asked an AFP reporter.

“You have to go a long way to buy something and nobody can take us.”

Despite the danger, Vyacheslav Kompaniets, 61, continues to live in his apartment on the first floor of the five-story building, even though a rocket attack in March shattered all the windows.

But he also ended up in the basement for a short time after suffering a stroke at the end of May.

“I was treated in the basement” when Lysychansk, 20 kilometers away, came under incessant Russian shelling.

In March, when Russian forces were being pushed back from Siversk, a small fire station next to the apartment building was destroyed by a rocket, leaving a pile of rubble that is still there.

While life without windows might be possible in summer, “we’ll have to seal everything up” when fall comes, Kompaniets said, not knowing how or with what he would do it.

The neighbors hope that the war will be over by then. Until then, they will live from day to day, not knowing what the next will bring.

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#Life #Lysychansk #bombed #day #night

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