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5:59 p.m .: In Bakhmout in Ukraine, civilians under pressure from the Russian advance

If they are in difficulty on other fronts, near Bakhmout in eastern Ukraine the Russian forces are advancing little by little, battling since August to conquer the city where the civilian population survives as best they can. Rimma Tsykalenko, 65, is determined to cross the river to collect her monthly pension, although she is in a wheelchair and the bridge has been blown up to slow down the Russian offensive.

Olexandre Valy, a 67-year-old retired factory worker, stopped to watch Rimma’s neighbors carry her on foot across the steep bank beside the Bakhmoutka River. “She’s not going to make it! “, he launches. “We’ve done it before! retorts one of the team members, holding the woman on a makeshift catwalk. Once on the other side, the retiree is not out of danger. Plumes of smoke rise from shell fire south of the town and machine gun fire echoes from the east bank.

On the slightly safer west bank, destroyed apartment buildings stand alongside rubble and broken glass. The shells whistle in the sky, forcing passers-by to take shelter. Civilians struggle to carry water and food across the ruined bridge. In the south, the pro-Russian separatists who fight alongside the forces of Moscow claimed Friday morning the capture of three villages, Otradivka, Vesselaïa Dolina and Zaïtsevé.

Source: 20Minutes – Une by

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