But sometimes, they shoot at the school bus. They know when it goes and they try to hit it. One DPR soldier died while shielding a child in front of the bus. There was an artillery strike; he heard the whistle and shielded the child with his body."
She added that nearly twenty people in the town had been killed, and over sixty injured. All civilians.
I asked her whether she or other officials had filed complaints to the OSCE or any international body about the actions of Ukrainian forces:
Yes, constantly. But nothing changes. It seems that international organizations have no power to do anything regarding the Ukrainians, because they still shoot. There were a lot of ceasefires signed in Minsk, but nothing changes here."
I asked her whether she had a message for Western governments supporting Ukraine's war on Donbass:
I want them to open their eyes and see there is no Russian invasion here. Just local, normal, peaceful, people who wanted to live another way. And we were not afraid to tell everybody how we want to live. In the beginning, we didn't want to make a Republic; we just wanted to be autonomous. But we were not listened to. Ukraine moved its armed forces against the people and used their artillery against us.
Poroshenko once said that our children will spend their childhoods in the basements, and that's what has happened. A lot of children lost their normal childhood, going to school in constant shelling. My youngest son already has grey hair. He has been under heavy shelling attacks ten times.
I want Western leaders to open their eyes and see this. Western weapons are used to kill us. We don't wish for any person to live through what we are living here now. What is here is something you don't wish for your enemy."
We then moved forward, driving along more overgrown roads battered by the war.
We stopped and got out of the car. Dmitry said: "We are near the checkpoint, but Gyurza doesn't want them to see us." We continued on foot.
According to Gyurza, Ukrainian forces were just 500 meters off in one direction and 600 meters in front of us. We walked past a home with a gaping hole in its roof but still inhabited. "They need to replace the roof before winter, or they can't live there."
We passed a burnt-out home and Dmitry said, "See the smoke? The house is still smoldering. It was hit two days ago by an artillery strike." This was the house from Irina's footage.
Walking on, we passed an unexploded 82 mm mortar buried in the ground. It's fresh, Dmitry notes; the shell is still yellowish, so it hasn't been there that long.
We stepped into the ruins of the burnt-out home. Brick walls remained, the tin of roof was on the ground in ashes and a tree branch still smoldered overhead.
The remnants of a burned out in Zaitsevo just two days after a Ukrainian attack. Photo | Eva Bartlett
(Image by Eva Bartlett website) Details DMCA
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