Ukrainians stuck in the midst of the fighting are forced to live in survival mode, with makeshift beds, lack of water, light, warmth, and food. Now garbage is piling up, and the risk of disease is increasing. Liz Cookman reports for Foreign Policy:
The severity of the situation in the front-line settlements of the Donbas has led to fears that Russia will employ the same playbook used in Mariupol, where months of siege killed as many as 50,000 people, according to reporting by the Guardian. Neither side has shown a willingness to make concessions, with Ukraine pushing for victory and Russia pledging to keep going until it has achieved its goals—which remain largely undefined.
“We’ve had no electricity since March 15 and no gas since April 10,” said another resident, 62, who gave his name as Vyacheslav. He takes me down a set of concrete stairs into the cold, damp underground storage room where five members of his family sleep. Wooden pallets are made up as beds. He said the only light at night comes from candles and an oil lamp. His 11-year-old granddaughter, Katya, said the walls shake every time there is an explosion. She was clutching her beloved cat.
“On March 19, the shops were destroyed. I don’t even know how—they just disappeared. The water went out because of shelling even before the war,” Vyacheslav said.
“Nobody takes the rubbish. Now it’s starting to get warm, the smell will be worse every day. There are a lot of flies, and we’re worried about diseases,” Vyacheslav said.
Residents say the only water they have is what they can filter from technical water, usually used by industry and unsuitable for human use.
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