a report. The war in Ukraine. On the Eastern Front, the Ukrainians take it but resist

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To go forward, it’s simple: It’s straight on the highway ”, A Ukrainian soldier explains in the lobby of the Astoria Hotel. But you’ll have to stop before Donetsk, the capital of pro-Russians, huh He’s coming out, a little glaring.

In Dnipro, a large city located on the Dnieper River, the war seems far away. On the streets of Ukraine’s third largest city, chestnut trees are in bloom and people move around like summer. We see young people eating ice cream, posters for rings of luxury brands, and an orchestra playing classical music in front of two mega malls. Dnipro Center is a huge fair where restaurants serve giant sushi plates, hamburgers and XXL pizza.

Ukrainian Eastern Front and Seversky Donets River | From

The front is 200 km to the east, and two and a half hours by road M04. Through the car window, landscapes spread out, replicas of those of the Pius. In the distance, three idle wind turbines seem to be waiting for the wind.

Russians ‘begin to learn from their mistakes’

Then the path changes. On both sides of the road, fiber-cement roofs cover small, ugly houses. The first slag heaps, black soil, and dust of Ukrainian lanes and checkpoints appear.

In Sloviansk, in Celentano, the only pizzeria still open in the city, Yuri Lelavskiy, press officer of the Ukrainian army, explains it “It was intense for three days.”

The captain points this out The Russians are putting a lot of pressure on the front. They should show victory under their leadership by all means. They begin to learn from their mistakes. No more helicopters in the sky, no more columns, just artillery. And take your phone out of your pocket. With dozens of photos.

It was 15 days ago, when they fired an armored column to cross the Seversky Donets, in Belohorivka, our artillery did the job.

Remnants of one of the Russian pontoon bridges destroyed by the Ukrainians at Belohorivka. | Ukrainian army

The results of the attempt are displayed on the small screen. Destroyed tanks, sunken troop transports, Russian corpses blackened by fire. The officer continues: The Russians lost approximately 200 men and 73 armored vehicles, and their commander, Colonel Kozlov. Since then they have been very upset. Then he continues by indicating on the map a point further north, twenty kilometers from Sloviansk: Lyman is the new link point […]. They destroyed 70 percent of the city.

The officer explains that Russian artillery is operating in the “field”: That is, she takes a square on the military map as she bombs that square. It doesn’t matter what’s inside. When you’re done, you point to another square and start over, and so on.

Outside the siren sounds. Ukrainian radars spotted a flying body entering the airspace. We do not knowCaptain Lilavsky explains. It could be a Russian launcher, a cruise missile, or something else…

In the street people do not rush. In the park, opposite the pizzeria, a mother and daughter continue to play on a bench. In Slovensk, the war took place. A short distance away, two explosions were briefly drowned out by the sound of sirens.

The captain is standing. Be careful when riding. Open the windows. If you hear the sound of a lawn mower in the air, it may be a drone. Leave the car immediately. You have 10 minutes before the artillery strikes,” He ends up running away.

Liman in Russian hands

The crossroads to Lehman are a short distance from town. On the horizon, a plume of smoke rises into the sky, the result of a bombardment too far from being heard.

A mortar shell explodes near the road to Lysichank, targeting a civilian car. (Photo by Aris Messines/AFP) | France Press agency

At a checkpoint, an unshaven soldier explained that we could not go further. Fighting takes place on the road, forward. Only local residents can pass at their own risk. The soldier, his gaze strained, looked exhausted. At a distance of one kilometer you will be within the range of the Russians. They bombed yesterday. There were injuries and deaths in cars. It’s too dangerous, I’m sorry.

Turn around and head to Kramatorsk where you can still find gasoline. At a station still stocked, cars wait to fill the tank. The line extends for a distance of one hundred metres. The price of a liter of diesel is approximately 85 hryvnia, or approximately 3 euros, and a liter of gasoline is 55 hryvnia.

The city of Kramatorsk was not spared the bombing, even if it was still behind the front. (Photo by Aris Messines/AFP) | France Press agency

and sleep? In the cities on the front, hotels have been closed for several weeks. For accommodation, forget about Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. Everything is closed. You may be able to find an apartment for rent. Some locals have done this recently. Entrust a server at the pizzeria Celentano.

Red Army City

Descending towards Konstiantynivka, Druzhkivka or a little further back towards the small town of Pokrovsk, to the south, there are still a few rare hotels that offer rooms.

Until 2016, Pokrovsk was called Krasnoarmiisk, Red Army City”, Before renamed during the abolition of the union of Ukrainian cities. On the central avenue of the Hôtel de l’Amitié where the journalists live, Everything is perfect One of the three ladies at the reception explains. All men are at the fore and the service is provided exclusively by women. Next door, the only pizzeria, Corleone, also displays completed. A life-size bronze statue of Al Capone welcomes the visitor; Thompson submachine gun, in the window, enhances the decor with sepia posters reminiscent of the Chicago gangster saga.

This is where the teams are BBCFrom ReutersFromPalestinian Authority And other Spanish and Italian media gather on the red benches. Few or no freelance journalists work in the Donbass. It’s too expensive for themexplains an English journalist.

In the Donbas, the war has become an expensive but profitable spectacle for the big media. It is used by the locals. Prices have gone up. There is no Ukrainian installer for less than 250 euros per day and few or no self-driving cars. It adds petrol, rooms and food. It’s going up really fast.” Says someone who works for a big news agency.

In the field, the soldiers sip their last coffee. It is close to seven in the evening, and the curfew begins after 10 minutes. The lights went out. A peaceful calm swept the small town. ButYour Twitter, the news has just fallen off. Pro-Russian separatists claim to have captured Lyman. Two more cities in the east, Sievierodonetsk and Lyssychansk, continue to resist the ruthless Russian encirclement.

a report. The war in Ukraine. On the Eastern Front, the Ukrainians take it but resist

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