Zaitsevo, a village in the north of the Donetsk People’s Republic, has been relentlessly shelled by Ukrainian forces/paramilitaries since 2014, and continues to be bombed nearly every day and night.
The population has dropped from 3,500 to 1,600, including 200 children.
I interviewed Irina Dikun, head of the administration of Zaitsevo, who spoke at length on the terror civilians have faced over the years and continue to face with the Ukrainian bombing that erupts nearly every single night, targeting civilian homes and village infrastructure.
“Those who could leave, left. Mostly it’s elderly remaining here. None of the ceasefire agreements (24/5) reached here. Not more than 1 or 2 days of ceasefire,” she said.
“They are destroying street by street in the town. They take one street and destroy it house by house. Then they turn to another street.
There was a school, and a kindergarten, before, but they were both destroyed by Ukrainian artillery. So now the children go to a district of Gorlovka, by school bus, organized by Mayor Prikhodko of Gorlovka.
The paramedics, the emergency, don’t go farther than this building, it’s too dangerous to go further. So, someone has to use their own car to go, if somebody needs help over there (near frontlines), and take them to the point where medics can then take them to Gorlovka. Also, the soldiers help civilians who are injured.”
Dmitry Astrakhan, the DPR press officer who accompanied me and provided translations, said:
“I want to add that Ukrainians shot at medical vehicles and fire brigade vehicles, even if they are white with red crosses. So it’s really dangerous to go farther (than the administrative building).”
[Note: This is also a tactic used by Zionist soldiers, targeting Palestinian medics, something I’ve experienced first hand, in 2009:
Irina’s words are powerful. Please do listen to this courageous woman, whose closing words were:
“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.”