One and a half years on the front line. Photo gallery from the Nestor Makhno's homeland


How life is barely glimmering on the defense line in the Zaporozhye region, where WWI-style positional battles continue for the second year...

Submitted by Thunderbird on July 23, 2023

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The town of Gulyaipole, or Huliaipole, in the Zaporozhye region, has been under permanent shelling for more than a year. About 3,000 people remain under regular bombardment, according to local authorities. Before the full-scale Russian invasion, more than 13,000 people lived here. Why do the townspeople not leave and how have they adapted to life in extreme conditions?

Water delivery to people in Huliaipole is being provided by rescuers. There are no amenities in urban high-rise buildings.

“Since last year, since March, we have had neither electricity, nor water, nor gas, therefore, in addition to putting out fires, liquidating emergencies, such a mission as humanitarian aid and humanitarian demining fell on our shoulders,” explains Volodymyr Panaseyko, deputy chief of the Huliaipole fire department.

The story of Nila from Huliaipole is widespread in settlements near the front line:

“My husband is bedridden. Where will I take him? He's 84, I'm 82. We're no good anymore. Like this, just a little. We survive. Our children and granddaughter could take us to Kyiv… but we are already here, as long as we have left here.”

The monument to Makhno in Huliaipole stands in an embroidered Ukrainian shirt and among a barricade of sandbags
Newspaper and flag belong to the rescue service

Her neighbour Lyudmila planned to go abroad, volunteers promised to help. But she stayed. Because of her cat named Rothschild:

“At first we were afraid, we could go abroad, but we were afraid that they would not let him out, yes. Stayed because of him. We have a military cat. If shelling, he knows where to hide. If we say: "Bandits", he climbs into the sofa.”

Rescuers bring technical water to residents of high-rise buildings by fire trucks, and then pour it into containers installed near the houses.
During the shelling of a hospital in Huliaipole, two employees were killed, two other people were injured. Around June 9th, 2023

“We want light, we want light! How I want a washing machine, mamma mia! Thank you for restoring the water to us, because it would be khana. In winter, they heated the water, collected it, it’s necessary to wash it, the toilet, everything”, says Lyudmila.

From Huliaipole to Dorozhnyanka, captured by Russian troops, it is a little more than 6 kilometers directly.

“Today, like a month, like two months ago, the front line runs about 5 kilometers from Huliaipole. Therefore, you understand, we have a rather alarming situation here”, explains Volodymyr Panaseiko.
Firefighters extinguish a farm hangar after shelling Huliaipole. People were not hurt. July 11, 2023

“Yesterday there were helicopters, heavy equipment. But where it went, we will not say. We only hear the rumble and helicopters. Let's run down to the basement. Because we don't know what to expect. Do you understand? Will they start hitting us or will they just fly by? Well, thank God, they flew by like that,” shares a resident of Huliaipole named Avgustina. To survive, Augustina moved to the basement of one of the high-rise buildings. She lives there for over a year now. A shell hit the house where the woman lived.

Since the second half of spring 2023, in Huliaipole, as well as in other front-line towns of the Zaporozhye region, the Russian military has been dropping guided air bombs.

“With the advent of these new bombs among the Russians, of course, the scale of destruction has increased significantly. And since these weapons are inaccurate, their ammunition explodes randomly. People suffer from this. Just a few days ago, we had four wounded. Of these, two were seriously wounded, who simply turned out to be... Well, such was fate, one car was just driving down the street - and this bomb exploded nearby. And two were covered by this bomb, they were just in their yards,” tells Panaseiko.
An air bomb hit the humanitarian aid point in Orekhov near Huliaipole. 4 civilians dead and 11 injured. July 10, 2023

Along with this, we recommend you to watch our recent martyrology of humanitarian volunteers killed by artillery and air strikes in our native Kharkiv region.

And take a look at our other summer publication about the campaign to collect aid for the population, immediately unfolded in Kharkov after the Kakhovka dam destruction.