The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has warned that the Russians are now preparing for an “offensive” attack on cities and towns in eastern Ukraine.
However, the war has already arrived in Severodonetsk.
After five weeks of fighting, this Ukrainian The city of more than 100,000 people has been overshadowed by its former nature due to building-bomb blasts and the disappearance of civilians on the streets.
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When we meet the police unit who work in the front row area, we soon start running to hide ourselves because gunshots were fired at a residential building a hundred meters away from where we were standing.
Their mission is simple – to save the lives of residents who still live in the city, but first we had to cover behind a wall.
After all, I asked Anton Borokov, the leader of the unit, how many people lived in the district.
“It’s really hard to count how many, some never leave the shelter, they stay there 24 hours a day. As you can see, the bullets are constant so it’s impossible to count them – maybe 1,000, maybe more, but it’s hard to answer, “he said.
Officers thought city residents were hiding in local schools and we entered the rubble of a badly damaged facility.
We saw a group of cold and hungry people, stuck around the fire just outside the shattered auditorium.
Seeing the officers, some of them pushed to go to the underground shelter, with the imprint of terror written on their faces.
Inspector Karina Takanchenko shouted: “Come with us, they will give you everything, place to stay, there will be food, everything is free, are you coming?”
Only an elderly couple accepted the offer.
At the sound of gunfire, we hurried to the police van and I asked them: “How long have you been living there?”
“Seven days a month,” the man replied.
“How were the conditions?” I asked.
“It’s impossible, my wife is leaving. Maybe I can take it but for my wife it is impossible. We have to go somewhere (well), ”he said.
I asked Inspector Takanchenko why they didn’t tell people to come out – even forcing them to leave such a dangerous environment.
His response was crisp and clear.
“Because I live in an independent country and it’s called Ukraine. Here everyone makes their own decision. We can only advise, inform, help in some way, help to remove, help them physically and mentally, but to force people? We can’t do that, and we won’t.
“We strongly recommend it but I’m not sorry for the fact that we took the time to explain,” he said.
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We moved into the next building, near the front line a bomb exploded Hulk and Officer Borokov opened the door to a cellar.
“There are people here. Good morning, the police are here,” he said.
He peeked into the shelter of a secluded, overflowing crowd and told the group below that he had come to evacuate them to Lviv in western Ukraine.
No one wanted to come.
“We have bad backs and bad legs here,” said one man.
“We will treat you,” Borokov said.
“No thanks,” he replied.
People are scared and some people distrust the police. Several have told us that they are meaningless and fear of becoming destitute in another, unfamiliar place
I am their concern inspector Tkanchenko.
“Well, thank God we don’t face this problem ourselves. When we started (five weeks ago) we were working on our own. Then, other voluntary organizations got involved and now it’s even easier.
“Those who say they don’t have money, you don’t need money, we will help them with what you need,” he said.
At the end of the difficult day there was one more job for the district police.
There was a small group of orphans to take care of.
Their attendants arranged for them to be sent to the town of Dinipro, 400 kilometers to the west.
After a month of bombing and shelling, the children looked terrified but Officer Borokov and his team kept them at bay, took them to the police station and supervised their next trip.
“Would you call it a normal day?” I asked him.
“For the past month, yes, we’ve been trying to evacuate people every day,” he replied.
“What’s going to happen here, do you think?” I asked.
“It’s hard to predict, but I believe everything will be fine. The day will come when everything will be over, the war will be over,” he said, before a colleague pulled him over an emergency question.