Residents of Ukraine’s war-torn Luhansk region told Hromadske that they could hear "very clearly" the battle that lasted several hours on the morning of February 18 near the settlements of Novotoshkivske, Orikhove, Krymske, and Khutir Vilnyy.
In the attack by Russia-supported militants, one Ukrainian serviceman was killed and four were injured. Ukraine didn’t lose any territory as a result of the advance.
Yuri, a chaplain who lives in the town of Zolote, told Hromadske that the shelling started around 6 a.m., and the Ukrainian side responded to the militants' attack about 50 minutes later.
“There was a shelling today in the area of Zolote. It started around 6 a.m., and in Novotoshkivske about an hour earlier. As far as I know, the response from our side came in around 50 minutes after the shelling,” he said.
“We have virtually four streets here in Zolote, so we hear all this horror clearly. Shelling attacks started at 5:30 a.m. I am not a military person and I do not know which side was firing, but the attacks were very strong,” Zolote resident, Ella, said.
Another resident of Zolote, Iryna, told Hromadske she heard shots in the area of Orikhove, Zolote-4, and Novotoshkivske.
“Everything is “okay” here. This reminded me of 2014 – the shelling attacks are very strong. We are worried about our people… Previously it was clear which side was firing, but now we can only hear that they shoot with heavy artillery, and machine guns,” she said.
Liliya Shvets, a feldsher (a rural medical professional widely used throughout the post-Soviet space – ed.) living in the town of Triokhizbenka, near Krymske, said she had heard the shots as early as the evening of February 17.
“Everyone here is in shock. The shelling nearby started at 10 p.m. last night. My husband and I are medics – we’ve been up since midnight, people started to have panic attacks, heart attacks, we’ve been driving around the whole village. This hasn’t happened in a long time,” Shvets commented.
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