“Everything is fine – because she remained alive”

One of the hottest spots on the front line in the Donbass today is the city of Yasinovataya. Opposite it is Avdiivka, the most fortified point of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, from where they are hit around the clock on Yasinovataya itself, as well as in Makeevka and Donetsk, and which the DPR forces are trying to cut off from communications. There is only one “Road of Life”, which connects the suffering city with the mainland, while it is regularly fired from cannon artillery and Grads. A special correspondent for Izvestia visited Yasinovataya and saw what life is like on the front line.

“Advantages and disadvantages”

Yasinovataya is a compact, green and probably very cozy city. It is a pity that it is not yet possible to form an exact idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthis. In February, the machine-gun bullets of the Ukrainian military whistled here right in the center – there were some two kilometers to the trenches. Today, the line of contact has been pushed back a little – up to three kilometers. The difficulty and slowness of moving forward is explained by the powerful structures of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they cannot be taken head-on.

We overcome the dangerous road connecting the Donetsk-Makeevskaya agglomeration with Yasinovataya at top speed. But, having reached the city, we understand that, to put it mildly, it does not become calmer: there is a continuous cannonade around – “minuses” (exits of shells from the DPR forces) and “pluses” (arrivals from the APU). We immediately go to the walls of the administration, without delay – it’s dangerous. There are few people on the streets.

The head of the city is Dmitry Stanislavovich Shevchenko. We talk in his office, and every 10 minutes he receives messages on the phone about the situation in different parts of the city. The walls are trembling, and neither I nor he seems to be able to exhale calmly during a conversation even once.

– That’s it – three months, – Dmitry Stanislavovich states, and after another distant pop outside the window he explains: – This is a plus. Judging by the sound, it flew into the Central microdistrict, about 1 km from here.

According to him, in Yasinovataya, more than 20 civilians died from such “pops”, 50 were injured. The deadly metal overtook someone at home, someone at the well, someone at the workplace – in the railway depot or machine-building shop, and someone on the very “road of life”. More than 1,000 buildings have been destroyed in the city, including all social facilities.


Mobile communication during the interview periodically disappears.
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– Interruptions, touched somewhere, – explains Dmitry Stanislavovich. “It’s good that the light is on,” he nods at the lamps. – There has been no electricity in one of the districts since yesterday – a substation was smashed with a direct hit. If our guys manage to catch a window of silence, then today they will be able to repair it.

And, reacting to another “plus”, states:

– And this, judging by the sound, flew to the area of ​​​​the recreation center of railway workers …
Sand and blackout

In the Yasinovatskaya Central District Hospital, the wounded are lying – civilians and soldiers. The hospital itself also came under fire a few days ago – windows were shattered, a backup generator was damaged, and the car of one of the doctors burned down.

Yury Bulavka, head of the traumatology department, walks me through the floors of the medical facility. In one of the offices, the windows were covered with sandbags. In some operating theaters, the windows are sealed with blackout – you have to work at night, and burning windows are a red rag for those who send shells and mines to this side.
Representative of the Yasinovat administration Anna Bondar

Representative of the Yasinovat administration Anna Bondar
Photo: Izvestia/Tatyana Baikova

From the fifth floor of the building, a panorama opens up, where, at a glance, you can see the same Avdiivka – the roofs of buildings, the industrial zone, the pipes of the coking plant.

“In the evening and at night, there is a real doomsday,” says the doctor. — Tracers, flashes, breaks. And even now, if you look closely. Well, look!
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A plume of black smoke rises from a forest plantation in the distance.

On the fourth floor, near the operating room, there is a team of doctors. They are waiting for the wounded from the front line, any minute, he needs amputation. The senior in the brigade is the Russian surgeon Abu Serderovich from Derbent, who came to the aid of his Donbass colleagues as part of a military medical battalion. I am unable to talk to him. A wounded man is taken out of the elevator on a gurney – a man in camouflage with a torn off foot. From the end of the ugly stump, blood drips onto the floor. The fighter groans and asks for a drink…
Vera and Dasha

In the department for civilian patients – the wounded. There are two neighbors in the women’s ward, each without a leg.

The older one is called Vera. Her leg was amputated above the knee. I sat in the house – in my native Novobakhmutovka (the village had just been recaptured by the forces of the DPR), knitting. She went out onto the porch, and … a shell flew in.

“I only remember that in the morning I was on two legs, and in the evening on one,” she whispers.

The woman was transported to Yasinovataya, first in an armored personnel carrier, then in a Ural. Shares: then she came to herself, then she turned off. I remember the picture – holding the military man by the leg and asking: “Take me!” And he strokes her on the head and repeats: “We’ll take her.”

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