“Even 20 years we will fight”: what is going on in Avdeevka

The fighting, which began in the industrial zone of the Town in the night from 29 to 30 January, virtually cut off the city from territory controlled by Ukraine. Trains and buses run in Avdeevka, which is under the control of official Kiev, almost every hour, travel East less. Now to get from Krasnoarmiysk to Avdiyivka only until noon, and back — up to six in the evening, and then on the train. The more explosions, the less passengers, says the correspondent driver regular flight Krasnoarmiysk — Avdiyivka.

Thursday, February 2, the bus into town was Packed. “It’s all coming back those who fled?” — surprised elderly woman. “Those who fled, will not be back,” muttered one of the residents of the city.

The bus sweeps past the three military vehicle. Passengers continue to discuss the fighting going on the outskirts of the city. “Soon us will take out out I Orlovka (settlement approximately ten kilometers to the West from Avdeyevka. —) seen a long line of howitzers,” said one of the men. According to him, howitzers waiting for the tractors are not enough. “Collect the equipment, tanks, I heard, in the city” — ends a passenger. Thursday in the town continued to sound artillery shots. Shot outside the city, so it was impossible to determine what guns go in the course of — 120-mm howitzer, mortars or tank guns.

Heroes or scum

Discussion on future of fighting in the bus flows in the political debate. “These national heroes ATO there is always something to share, redistribution of it” — is indignant in conversation with the correspondent the driver from Avdeevka Maxim (the name is changed). According to him, residents of the city constantly suspected of separatist sentiments. “Went the other night for a cigarette, met a friend, drank coffee. Someone on the next street shouted, saying, glory to the DNR. Patrol responded, took us,” says Maxim. After that, says Maxim, it almost a day kept in a barrel — a large metal tank. Released without explanation.

He told this story, the bus stopped Ukrainian serviceman in uniform. All discussions of the Ukrainian authorities immediately stopped, started the conversation on neutral topics — where the night is “flew”. “Three days ago, on the plant actually rode the drunk tank. We are with the men phoned, discussed,” — said the other passenger of the bus. As evidence he shows the video. “And so all the time. I think they are the same bombed — what are these — on homes. 2014 all popisteanu, maps all have. Well is it the characters? This scum,” he ends the conversation local.

Social disaster

Constant shelling and clashes in the suburbs have not yet resulted in heavy casualties among the local population. “Three or four wounded, one woman fragments flogged, not lucky,” said one of the paramedics. According to him, mostly for the ambulance ride to the chronic sick and the elderly who cannot get to the hospital for health reasons. This information was confirmed in the city administration. The special monitoring mission of the OSCE and other data. “We have documented casualties among civilians, we have documented evidence of 17 of the victims,” — said the first Deputy head of the OSCE SMM Alexander hug.

“Several hours later, the head of the Donetsk oblast Pavlo zhebrivskyi told reporters about the deaths of two civilians during the attack. According to the official, the soldiers of the self-proclaimed DND intentionally struck on the point of humanitarian aid around the average educational school”.

Much stronger on the citizens affected by the outage, said the first Deputy head of Avdiivka military and civil administration Feria Vekua. According to him, were left without power almost the entire city. Electricity is at the station and in some areas, the remaining residents cost generators. Restoration of power lines interfere with the soldiers of the breakaway Republic, said the officer of the National guard of Ukraine, on condition of anonymity. “Today I had to send teams [working on the restoration], but it’s too dangerous,” he explains. In his opinion, the enemy APU deliberately attempt on the lines of communications. “They have light, but we do not inflame social tension,” — said the officer.

With electricity, the inhabitants of the Town were left without heating and gas. But, according to Vekua, available in the city’s reserves will last for a few days. “If agreements are not reached, you will have to evacuate the population,” shrugs the official.

Workshop on conservation

Despite reaching sixth day shelling of the city Avdiivka during this time left only 200 people, according to Vekua. Mostly women with children and those who are afraid for their lives, said the official. It’s first residents, left the city this year, but the administration has already agreed with other localities on a possible evacuation. “We have agreed with transport companies, regional authorities allocated money from the reserve Fund for evacuation and content,” continues Vekua. According to him, from 20-22 thousand people living in the city, the authorities can evacuate up to 16 thousand people. “Not everyone will want, still home is home,” — said the Deputy head of the city administration.

A contingency plan of the municipality within a few days can become a reality. Forming enterprise of Avdiivka coke plant, owned by Rinat Akhmetov “Metinvest”, — was de-energized as a result of attacks on January 30. According to Vekua, originally the town was built around the plant, which provided the heating and gas infrastructure of the city. “Coking coal there is a secondary product coke oven gas. You can’t apply only to burn,” explains Vekua. To not burn fossil fuels in vain, in 1963 near the plant was built a boiler house which heated water for heating the city. “Now the plant is de-energized, the coke oven battery can not work”, — said the head of the press service of “Metinvest” Vladimir Ravinsky. According to him, two factory shop of the four are mothballed. If power does not resume, the plant will be stopped forever because of the peculiarities of the technological process of coking coal. Not only will this leave the city without hot water and gas, but also will be deprived of about four thousand people — a quarter of the population of the Town. “Given that each of these four thousand families who live in the city, it will lead to a humanitarian explosion” — sums up the Ravinsky.

Stop Avdiivka coke hit not only on the plant but in the whole metallurgical industry in the region. Initially the plant was built to supply coke metallurgical combine them. Ilyich, which is located in Mariupol. Still Avdiivka coke plant is a major supplier of coke for the plant, said the head of the press service of “Metinvest”. According to him, in case of stoppage of the Avdiivka plant, the plant will have to seek new suppliers, which complicate production.

Who is to blame

Achieved Thursday, February 2, agreements in the framework of the Minsk format on the withdrawal of artillery to Feb 5 is unlikely to become a reality, said one of the officers of the National guard of Ukraine, who wished to remain anonymous. “We have more than 20 years of fighting for independence from Russia, another 20 years will fight,” he explains his prediction.

Pessimistic and other soldiers were able to talk in Avdeevka. “Oh, nothing will not be over quickly,” — said another interviewee from the national guard. According to him, the intensity of the fighting in the suburbs is only growing. “For four days put 74 Russian there, they’re all in the Kalinin morgue in Donetsk, lie,” — said the officer of the 72nd separate motorized rifle brigade, standing in the city. According to him, the aggressor in this confrontation were not the Ukrainian side. We just defended, and how they will attack, it is not clear,” writes an officer of the brigade.

Another opinion police of the city. No matter who started first, says the correspondent the employee of the local commandant Eugene. “It’s as if I stole from you backpack, you got me on the head with a brick. From the point of view of the law you’re wrong, and conscience — everything is fine” — gives the example of Eugene.

A special international mission of the OSCE, in contrast to officers of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies cannot be called guilty of some direction. “Both sides use heavy weapons, both sides moved their positions, both sides shoot. Civilians of the Town no matter who started it, but it is important how both sides are going to get out of this situation,” said Alexander hug.

I agree with the Hug and elderly resident of Valentine. In the night of 1 January 2 in the multi-storey building at the Mill [name of district bus stop in the town], where Valentine lives with his sister, came eight artillery shells. As soon as it was safe, she came to the center of the city to write an application for the restoration of the house. “Bomb at one point, BAM-BAM-BAM. We thought we will not survive,” says Valentina. According to her, the shells fell in a house with the same pauses every 20 minutes. “And what, excuse me, the difference is that these aliens? Its nowhere here,” says Valentina and reaching for the handkerchief in his pocket, to wipe the tears away.