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Fighting rages on in Donbas, civilians trapped on frontlines

Johnny Miller
Press TV, Donetsk

I am heading with humanitarian aid workers to drop off desperately needed supplies to civilians on the outskirts of Donetsk. Recently, fighting has become fierce here, as Russia seeks to advance across much of Donbass. A Russian tank fires at Ukrainian positions.

As we drive, we can hear the boom of incoming shelling not far off. We see the smoke rising from amongst the trees. A few moments later, a Russian artillery unit emerges from the site of the strike. They were hit.

We arrive at the arranged gathering site to hand over the supplies. These people live only hundreds of meters away from the frontline, and spend most of their time cowering in their apartments.

This is Tatiana Montyon, a renowned Ukrainian lawyer, today helping to deliver aid. Tatiana fled Kiev to Donbas, two years ago, fearing arrest for her outspoken criticism of the Ukrainian government.

Everybody here understands that it is the United States who made all this trash to weaken Europe, to crash European economy, and to force the European industry to move to the United States. Everybody here understands, but why European people do not? I am sure that the elites understand, but they are too corrupt to tell their people.

On our way to the next drop-off area, we are stopped by Russian soldiers. They tell us not to carry on on the same road. We get out of the car to assess our options. There is heavy fire nearby. That is the reality across much of Donbas. Back in the car, massive incoming shelling is close by and we are left with no choice but to drive fast. In this desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland, artillery that is doing most of the killing.

At the next drop-off area, this woman tells me that her mother is dying on the ‘other side’ of the frontline. So she cannot be with her in her final days. She breaks down in tears, saying she wants both sides to negotiate a peace deal.

With peace negotiations further away than ever, both Russia and NATO seem determined to end this war with brute force. For the civilians trapped along either side of the front lines, survival is a daily chore. Many will not see the end of the war. Many will not ee the end of this week.

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