January 31, 2023

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“Hope dies last,” believe these Bagmouth residents who flee the city after weeks of hiding in cellars.

A support conference for Ukraine begins in Paris on Tuesday to help the country get through the winter and begin its reconstruction. Power outages and bombings are daily life for residents of Bagmouth, near the eastern part of the Donbass.

A few buildings still have windows in Bagmouth. It’s the first thing you notice when you enter Donbas, which has been shelled by the Russians for months. Destruction and explosions sound everywhere, sometimes every minute, sometimes every ten Seconds.

>> War in Ukraine: Follow our live situational evolution

Two women rush home with huge water and humanitarian aid. Lena and Elena are among the last five Doctors for the citizens of Bagmouth. In the question of : Is it possible to work in these conditions, Yelena answers : “what to do ? We are not going to abandon our patients! Some are very old and disabled, who will take care of them? ?”.

Because beneath its appearance a ghost town, Bagmouth is not deserted. Several thousand people still live here, mostly in cellars. The two medical colleagues have been sharing a basement with a dozen other people since August. A stove heats the room, fueled by a generator. And behind the shelter’s curtain, a small head emerges. In pink pajamas, 13-year-old Alina snuggles up against her mother, Lena. “It’s okay, no regretsShe assures. We get used to it over time. No water or electricity for more than three months. But we survive everything.” Elena, she breaks down a little: “Psychologically, it’s hard, very hard.”

Alina, 13, lives in this basement in Bagmouth with her mother Lena, who was one of the five general doctors who stayed in the city under the bombs.  (Agathe Mahout / Radio France)

“We’re all stressed. I hope it ends one day, it’s been six months since I saw my daughter.”

Elena is one of the last five civilian Doctors of Bagmouth

At franceinfo

Elena’s voice breaks, and then she immediately apologizes “Moment of Weakness”. Usually, she is the one who consoles the patients.

A stove brought in by volunteers is used to heat the basement where Yelena and twelve other people live.  During the day lighting is provided by a generator.  But you still need to get gasoline.  (Agathe Mahout / Radio France)

A life full of suffering

Bagmouth in ruins, By the way, UN Old man from 81 responses, sabka on the head, no longer know whether it is evening or morning. He sawed wood for heat, scraps of boards he took from his former neighbors, in damaged buildings. “Look there and there!, He points out. The windows… everything was broken. What a war this is ?”

“This is not a war, we are exterminating people.”

By, 81 ans

At franceinfo

“I was born in 41He continues. I was a child during World War II. I know hunger. And now it begins again…”

Ole, 81, chops firewood to fuel his stove in the destroyed buildings of Bagmud, Ukraine.  (Agathe Mahout / Radio France)

Natalya ventured out to steal cigarettes from the soldiers. “There’s nothing in Buckmouth, not a shop anymore”, she explains. She still lives in her apartment. However, the building next to him has to stop him. It was blown up by a missile a few weeks ago. We can see a closet, on the second floor, the clothes are still in the hanger.

Natalia still lives in her apartment in Pakmut without electricity, water or heat.  The building next to him was blown up by a missile a few weeks ago, killing 7 people.  (Agathe Mahout / Radio France)

“Pakmut, before the war, was a pleasant little town”says Nasser, the soldier in charge of supplying the troops. “Look, this crossroads ? The front row is at the end of the street. The Russians are less than two kilometers away., he blurts out. The Ukrainian army is currently constructing new barricades at the entrance to the city.

Volunteers like Yaroslav try every day to get people to leave. For the military, it is not practical to fight knowing the presence of civilians. But many people are used to explosions. “This morning, a grandmother refused to follow us”, He says. His association turns out ten people a day. It’s under a small tunnel that, according to Yaroslav, is Bagmouth’s safe place, where the van waits for the last candidates to leave.

Leonid and Irina, 68 and 60, finally agreed to leave for Gramadores. "It's hard enough to leave our city, but we're at the end of our tether".  (Agathe Mahout / Radio France)

Leonid and Irina boarded the ship in the sixties. “It is very difficult for us to leave our town. Leonid says. But there, we are at the end of our strength and it is no longer possible. Shelling is very powerful. So they go to their son. Against them, they squeeze out some business. “Let Pakmut wait for us!, Lance Leonid. Hope dies last. When the war is over, we’ll come back and rebuild.”

“Bachmoud, civilians under bombs” – Report by Agathe Mahout and Laurent Macchietti.


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