In the Donbass, again, expect a war. The last weeks are just full of warnings about possible attacks. The most likely place a new outbreak of clashes — Svetlodarsk arc. It’s near debaltseve. Everything with meaning: sounds like and the arc of Kursk, and the battle here in January of 2015 called Stalingrad.
And the reporter of “MK” from Debaltsevo in 1942, taken to Germany grandmother with his brother and cousins. And in Svetlodarsk at my in-laws had a cottage, and I kid there spent his time fishing. Now between the former fishing and surviving relatives front.
In Debaltsevo not easy. First in Donetsk, and from there to the southern bus terminal for a couple of hours you through Makeyevka and Enakiyevo to get to the place. It’s a detour. A straight road goes through yasinovatskiy post of traffic police, for which there are fights in February.
In Debaltsevo Sunny. In Debaltsevo, everything is broken. Well, almost everything. A year and a half after the storming of the city’s infrastructure restored, but destroyed private houses enough. Something people repairs itself.
“See the ball into the roof flew, shows boarded up the ceiling of the owner of the city’s only funeral home. — You patched! What to expect!” The roof doesn’t crash, not plastered, but over the coffin looks quite picturesque. Across from the funeral home for some city building shines with new plastic Windows.
“All schools, kindergartens and train College for a year after the assault has received a new roof and new Windows. New build houses for people. Good! With all the stuffing!” — tells me my guide. It’s local, but the name asked not to be identified — has been a cab driver, and goes on Ukrainian territory, and therefore does not want to “Shine online”. He lives in the residential district of Cheryomushki. From Khrushchev probably every Soviet city was awarded the district a five-story building and the same name. When the city was fighting, in the district there was only one house that was not hit by a shell. At the entrance of my companion’s three direct hits. “You see, my mother-in-law came to the hall!” — shows the window of “Zhiguli” finger my driver.
I sympathetically nod. To live in a brick five-story building — not the best choice in the war. In block, concrete much safer. They are stronger, the shells they leave small holes, embossing often a single room, and hallways, and particularly monolithic units with tub and toilet do not make their way almost never. In the bathrooms or hallways during the shelling usually put to sleep children.
The capture of the city and then note two — “Ukraine” in the summer of 2014 and “Russia” in the winter of 2015. The Ukrainian assault on the shells landed on the city market, and it burned down along with goods. Now the trade goes next to the burned-out containers.
In the yard of a childhood friend’s house — flowers and exhibition iron: fragments, dug and collected in the house and in the garden upon return. Home lucky — not a direct hit! I remember my grandmother with her sisters — Baba Pasha and Baba Nura — equally cursed me for the mess with the words “after the bombing!”. Now finally it becomes clear the meaning of this comparison. Neither before the war did not survive. Debaltseve grandmother and my mother’s great-grandmother lying on the cemetery, which has been a year no access is broken and not cleared.
In front of the house on the pavement of the familiar “rose from bursting mines. Guy says: “Fragments of the channel in the fence interrupted. Lucky!”.
Everything here — if you listen — lucky. Uncle remembers the first relatively peaceful winter. “The people there, the squirrel run in the city! I have one direct in front of the house fed. Now where-that left, too many people died.”
Authorities say with caution. For the restoration of Debaltseve took seriously and promised amazing — to hold on to the city gas pipe, and the like have started. All about it are silent, afraid to startle. Debaltseve in the Donetsk region is a unique city. There was no gas! My brother in the kitchen was a gas stove with pipes in the wall, and on the other hand, in the nursery, two red interchangeable gas cylinder. All used surprised just visiting. As these cylinders exploded in artillery fire — I’m afraid to ask.
We move on past the picturesque house with renovated roof, warehouse logs for walls and Windows boarded boxes. “Hurry up, — with slight envy my “guide”. Windows, see shell boxes scored good tree!”
As we walk along the broken houses, I hear the same phrase: “Here the grandmother died, and here is the lucky family in the basement was the home from direct exposure to fire, but neighbors extinguished and unearthed! All alive!”.
Finally the first of the houses, donated by Russia. The same beautiful boxes under the new roofs are often hidden behind completely riddled with shrapnel fences. My questions about possible abuse guy doesn’t understand.
“Build on the composition of the family! he explains how small. — Everything in the house is, and the queue is really not. Help those who have nowhere to live, and the rest later!”
I understand. This is a tough reality of the war on both sides of the front line. If you run from war, your destroyed house benefactors that the Ukrainian side that Dnrovskie here, I always leave “on then”. Help those who are hatched on the spot and in dire need of housing right now. So many homes destroyed and their owners left in peaceful areas and live there now. To repair just no one.
Go past the edge of the broken house with the beautiful gate, on which is painted a cat Leopold. The same one from the cartoon “Hey guys, let’s live together”. Leopold all cracked holes from shrapnel.
Just outside the city — the grass on the belt, broken bunkers, tanks. I’m trying to explain that I have kids, and climb on the grass in search of mines, I don’t want to. The guy calms me down, like maybe: “Here cows graze and people go to the ponds to bathe. You better look at this!”.
I give up, you know how it is important for him to show me, a journalist. Shows the overlap of concrete sleepers over the next dugout, blasted a powerful shot. “Well this is what’s beat!” — he wonders.
In the distance beyond the broken Ukrainian tanks, do people bathe. Near the road lies torn by the explosion of a tank tower, in front of her carefully laid mortar mine of caliber of 82 mm. Local Gypsies foraged scrap, but do not touch potentially hazardous and can be disposed of tank armor. From tanks pulling engines, and multi-ton hull and turret are like monuments.
“Then after the departure of people such dragged — canned meat, cereals from the bunkers cellars were filled up. Well, to repair the tree again,” the master says the guy.
Guy takes me home, past fishermen and bathers people and gloomily says: “Everyone who took up arms, himself lost!”.
In the evening usual rattles outside the city. People pause for a moment: “This is not Svetlodarsk. Under Sanzharovka shoot” — comment on them. And continue your evening.
Donetsk — Debaltsevo
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