(Kramatorsk, special envoy). If someone lost their hearing in the middle of the war, the situation would be different. The crosswind of winter combined with the explosion of artillery, added to the muzzle flashes of AK-47s or Himars missiles, the way the ground shakes when something comes out, or the way it rumbles when something falls… all of this can end up driving you crazy.
However, Ukrainian soldiers don’t even turn their heads when a bang is heard. Everyone in the Donbass repeats the same magic formula: “If he has to touch you, he will touch you”; “If someone falls on you, it’s your fate.” This is how they deal with one of the most difficult tasks a human being can have: expose your life ahead.
In Kramatorsk today you almost exclusively see soldiers. It is still a bustling city, there is public transport, some walk on the street, but the vehicles that pass by are almost all affected by the war. And those who don’t, go through it. It’s hard to say how many of his 150 thousand inhabitants, many have left and others are spending their lives confined to their homes. Silence rarely accompanies them, some nights are quieter but almost always a siren or two sounds, and the more cautious descend into shelter. Until a few weeks ago, the warning siren lasted the whole time of the threat, but no one could stand it. There were so many complaints that they decided to sound each alarm twice: once at the beginning of the possible attack and once at the end. This way the neighbors can hear more than just the sounds of war, but there are cars rushing by making noises in the snow; there are the marching tanks hitting the asphalt; there is artillery, in the distance, or less and less.
In BakhmutAt 50 kilometers by road but about 30 in a straight line, the situation is dramatically worse. Those who continue to live there it is because they have consciously decided put your life in danger. Even the NGOs in charge of the evacuation are no longer allowed to enter, they can only reach neighboring towns, which are also bombarded and where there is constant noise. It is that in the Donbass it is clearer than in any other region of the country that Ukraine and Russia are a war waged by the artillery. For this reason, as they are not very precise weapons, the destruction extends to every corner that adjoins a battle.
According to the official report issued by the Ukrainian army, on the 362nd day of the war, fighting continues on a large scale throughout the southeast facade from the country. Russia is focused on destroying Ukrainian infrastructure critical to the functioning of the state, relentlessly bombarding both military formations and contested small towns. The report released on February 20 included 10 missile attacks, 25 aircraft attacks and 62 MLRS (multiple launcher rocket) attacks. The greatest efforts of the invading troops were concentrated on Bakhmut, Kup’yansk, Lyman, Avdiivka there Shakhtarskand maintain their attempts to advance in the region of Kharkov, Donetsk there Luhansk.
On the other hand, the Ukrainian Forces denounce that in the occupied areas of the region of Khersonthe Russians set up administrative buildings where they would detain Ukrainian citizens accused of cooperating with their country’s Defense Forces. This is what many inhabitants of the cities occupied by the Russians and then recovered have already denounced. Beatings, imprisonment and attempts to organize hasty elections are some of the elements of the Kremlin soldiers’ operating manual.
On the defense side, the Ukrainian air force carried out 20 attacks in a single day: it launched 7 anti-aircraft missiles and shot down two other objects in the air, in addition to a Su-25 plane, two unmanned planes Orlan and 2 suicide bombers. drones. This balance is as of February 20, but it is updated every noon, in an attempt to show the world their ability to cause damage if aided with weapons.
So far in the war, a few days before reaching the first anniversary, Ukrainian forces believe that Russia has already lost 143,680 soldiers, 3,316 tanks, 6,553 armored vehicles, 2,334 artillery systems, 471 multiple rocket launchers (MLRS), 243 air defense systems, 299 aircraft, 287 helicopters, 873 cruise missiles, 18 ships and 5,209 vehicles fuel. As usual, the Kremlin does not report its own casualties, it is government policy to keep troop morale high and not to give details of the state of the army.
What no one knows is when the sirens of war will stop ringingwhen will be the day when silence will no longer be an ominous menace waiting to know whether it was your fate or not, and it will once again become the simple form of calm.