Public Outrage Forces Ukraine Officials to Restore Power in Frontline Village
20 June, 2017

The head of the Donetsk Military and Civil Administration, Pavlo Zhebrivsky, delivered two diesel generators and and 400 litres of diesel to the residents of the village of Zaitseve-Zhovanka, near the Russian-occupied town of Horlivka in the Donetsk region. The people living in these frontline villages lost power on 25 June 2016 as a result of shelling, yet another consequence of the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine.

There are 150 residents left in Zhovanka and most of them are elderly, spending their pension money on fuel for the generators and flashlights. The war in Eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Russian-backed separatists began in April 2014, and back then, 800 people lived in this area. Since then, the humanitarian situation has gotten increasingly worse, including limited access to social services and medical care, damage to water, electricity supplies, and infrastructure. As a result, around 1.6 million have been displaced from the affected areas, in addition to the 2,777 civilian deaths and 23,966 injuries.

Volodymyr Vyesolkin, the head of the Bakhmut Military and Civil Administration, which is responsible for the village of Zhovanka in Zaitseve, announced the news about the additional generators on Facebook.

Vyesolkin also said that the head of the Donetsk region assured the residents of Zaitseve, as well as those living in Zhovanka and Bakhmut (villages that are also part of the larger village of Zaitseve) that repairs to the power supply have begun.

Hromadske published an article on 12 June about the residents of Zhovanka who have lived without power for a year as the authorities were not prepared to restore the power supply. The report provoked public outcry.

After Hromadske journalists appealed to the head of the Donetsk Military and Civil Administration, Pavlo Zhebrivsky, asking why power had not been restored, he replied that they had allocated money and even begun repairs, but the continuous shelling meant that repairs were impossible.