May 13, 2023
Volunteer OleksiI Savkevych drives along Gagarina Street, one of the central streets in Avdiivka. Although it is known as the «Mural Alley», now it is more like the Alley of Burns. Famous Ukrainian artists created a series of murals on the walls of the now destroyed five-story building before the invasion. The first was «River of Life» by Oleksandr Brittsev. At this moment, the five-story building on which the mural is painted is still intact, albeit with broken windows and gutted balconies. It was April 28 when we shot this video. A few hours later — in the evening — a Russian missile hit it. The central part of the building collapsed, and the mural burnt on the left side. It is the spring of 2023 in Avdiivka, a rapidly disappearing city. Russian mines and missiles burn Avdiivka to ashes every day. Avdiivka, located next to Maryinka, Bakhmut, Severodonetsk and Mariupol, is turning into another Ukrainian city that does not exist. We asked a volunteer from Avdiivka, Oleksii Savkevich, a doctor, Vitaly Sytnyk, and a police officer, Maksym «The Fierce», to show how Avdiivka is disappearing before their eyes, and to tell what it’s like to lose one’s hometown.
May 10, 2023
“Sometimes I sleep for several hours a day. In my dreams I can smell things. Smells of blood, gunpowder, rotten human flesh. Well, because I smelled all that. Sounds, colors. Although they say that only schizophrenics have colorful dreams,” says Ivan Havrylko, a marine who was wounded three times during the full-scale war. We met with Ivan in his Lviv apartment to talk about flashbacks from the war, the “snail’s state,” depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. About what usually remains behind the scenes of heroic reports of our struggle. And what can await all the servicemen and their loved ones upon returning home.
May 4, 2023
The K2 Battalion of the 54th Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has been fighting in the Bakhmut district, defending its northern edge for 9 months. Battalion commander Kyrylo Veres, honored as a Hero of Ukraine, has been at war for 9 years. He has been fighting from the very beginning – since 2014. Even though his unit is in a deaf defense here, and the positions are stormed every other day, the soldiers even managed to advance one and a half kilometers. This result is a team effort. The pilots explore and, if necessary, drop on the enemy heads, the infantry observes and attacks if necessary, and the armored group goes to support. «A battalion is a mechanism, like a clock or a car. And each part has to work. One rudder or one wheel cannot work, it has to work all the parts. And when everyone is working, it is much more efficient,» says the battalion commander. One of the most famous videos of this war is also the work of this battalion. The footage shows the work of the K2 armored group while recapturing lost positions. When a Ukrainian tank first shot at Russian infantry positions from 15 meters away, and then drove over the enemy’s position several times. In our report we filmed those tankers, as well as anti-tankers, infantry and the commander Kyrylo Veres himself. You will find out whether the group of Ukrainian troops north of Bakhmut is at risk of being surrounded, whether the Russians really have problems with ammunition, and what the Kherson raccoon has to do with it.
May 7, 2023
«When the Russians are actively shelling our positions, about 200 wounded a day can pass through us», says paramedic Katia. The girl has been volunteering for the Hospitallers medical battalion for more than six months, and in civilian life she works as an IT specialist. She spends about three weeks a month at war, providing care wounded soldiers whom her crew transports from one stabilisation point to another. The Hospitallers is a volunteer organization of paramedics that was founded at the beginning of the combats in 2014. How one of the Hospitallers’ crews works – see in hromadske report.
Apr 19, 2023
Oleksandr Sokoliuk, call sign “Falcon” is a captain in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and head of the evacuation unit of the 93rd Brigade. He has been evacuating the wounded from the battlefield for precisely a year. First, from the vicinity of Izium, then for ten months from Bakhmut and its outskirts, and now from the town itself. We met Sokoliuk in December of 2022. He was taking the wounded from the vicinity of Bakhmut to a stabilization center in the city. At the end of February 2023, hromadske was in Bakhmut again on the street where the stabilization center was in December, but the street was shelled and fired upon by Russians. Today this street is already occupied. During the time we did not see Sokoliuk, four members of the medevac unit were killed. And a month ago, one of the medics of the Brigade —Yara — died on the way to Bakhmut for evacuation. Even before, “Falcon” did not allow his subordinates to go to the city to pick up the wounded because they were “young” and “should live and see the life.” Now, he mostly carries out evacuations from the city himself, even though he is the head of the unit. hromadske spent a day with Captain “Falcon”. We went to Bakhmut twice and returned twice. We also found a fresh grave in one of the yards and several civilians still staying in the city – even though the front line is already there. Bakhmut itself looks like a charred match. And the roads leading to it are “cemeteries” of hit military hardware and cars. During that day, “Falcon” evacuated ten wounded and sick soldiers out of the city, the road to which is a constant risk due to enemy shellings. When we said “Goodbye”, Sokol was called to Bakhmut again to pick up another wounded and one dead man.