- Title: UKRAINE: Slaviansk residents choose: live with hardship or leave
- Date: 17th June 2014
- Summary: SLAVIANSK, UKRAINE (JUNE 17, 2014) (REUTERS) WOMAN WALKING ACROSS STREET PEOPLE WALKING IN STREET WITH BUCKETS PEOPLE WALKING WITH WATER BOTTLES PEOPLE FILLING WATER BOTTLES FROM HOSE PEOPLE FIXING WATER BOTTLES ON TROLLEYS VARIOUS OF MEN PULLING WATER TANK LITTLE GIRL SITTING BOY FIXING WATER BOTTLES ON MOTORBIKE MEN WALKING / VARIOUS OF PEOPLE FILLING WATER BOTTLES (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, ALEXANDRA, SAYING: "This is how we live - what we worked for. What are they doing in that Kiev? Those leaders should be swept out. Why are they torturing people? (REPORTER ASKING OFF CAMERA, 'WHY ARE YOU COMING FOR WATER?') There's no water, there's no electricity. That's why we're coming for water." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING PAST DAMAGED BUILDING PEOPLE BOARDING UP BROKEN WINDOW VARIOUS OF BROKEN WINDOW VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, NATALIA FEDOSENKO, SAYING: "I can't even bury my uncle right now. It's not clear whether they'll let us out (of town checkpoints) or not. They are shooting. Today at night, even at 4 am. I was at my mother's in Artema last night. They shot the entire night, and at 4 o'clock they shoot. Where are you shooting? What are you doing?" WOMAN SELLING GOODS AT TABLE IN FRONT OF SHOT-UP WALL VARIOUS OF MAN LEANING ON BIKE VARIOUS OF SLAVIANSK REGIONAL ADMINISTRATION BUILDING MOTORCYCLE DRIVING DOWN STREET VARIOUS OF MAN AND CHILD SITTING ON CURB (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, VIKTOR, SAYING: "They aren't paying pensions, they're not giving child payments, you can't buy anything in the stores. Money...we have been holding on for so long. We don't have money to buy food. That's why we are leaving." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE HOPING TO EVACUATE LINED UP GIRL AND BOY TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENTS, KATYA AND LENA KISELOVA, SAYING: LENA: "Today we went to bed at 2 a.m." KATYA: "Today at night, there was a big firefight. The light rockets were flying everywhere. In the sky everything was light." LENA: "Our yard was all lit, three or four times." KATYA: "They were flying above the house. we were living at Tselinnaya, and we could hear everything. We were running here and there." LITTLE BOY LEANING ON BIKE CATS IN BAG PEOPLE LINED UP AT CURB BAGS PEOPLE WAITING
- Embargoed: 2nd July 2014 13:00
- Location: Ukraine
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: People
- Reuters ID: LVA9NS1OXISB9B89GQDZCLKYGROE
- Story Text: Faced with ongoing shortages, utility outages and frequent artillery fire, some residents in the eastern Ukrainian separatist stronghold of Slaviansk on Tuesday (June 17) gathered water, while others lined up to leave.
Since April, the city has been the epicentre of pro-Russian separatist activity after gunmen seized government and police buildings.
Ukrainian forces have surrounded the city and engaged in firefights with separatists frequently since Kiev launched a military operation to flush out the separatists there and in about 10 other towns.
Residents lined up on Tuesday at a working hose to fill water bottles, and men pulled a tank full of water.
Pensioner Alexandra bitterly decried her fate.
"This is how we live - what we worked for. What are they doing in that Kiev? Those leaders should be swept out. Why are they torturing people?" Alexandra said.
In the city centre, people boarded up shop windows scarred in artillery attacks. At the market, sparse stalls sold few supplies.
Resident Natalya Fedosenko said the ongoing conflict had made even the most essential tasks insurmountably hard.
"I can't even bury my uncle right now. It's not clear whether they'll let us out (of town checkpoints) or not. They are shooting. Today at night, even at 4 am. I was at my mother's in Artema last night. They shot the entire night, and at 4 o'clock they shoot. Where are you shooting? What are you doing?" Fedosenko asked.
Viktor sat with his granddaughter, waiting to leave Slaviansk for his sister's home in Rostov-on-Don, across the border with Russia.
"They aren't paying pensions, they're not giving child payments, you can't buy anything in the stores," he said.
"We don't have money to buy food. That's why we are leaving," Viktor said.
Katya and Lena Kiselova were headed to Crimea to escape the fighting.
"Today at night, there was a big firefight. The light rockets were flying everywhere. In the sky everything was light," Katya Kiselova said.
Separatists say government forces have been shelling their positions this week, including around in Slaviansk, scene of some of the heaviest fighting since the uprising began in the Russian-speaking east in April.
About 30 Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in fighting with pro-Russian separatists near Ukraine's eastern border with Russia early on Tuesday, the border guard service said.
It said separatist fighters had fired mortar bombs on government forces and border guards during the night near the city of Luhansk. It gave no details of any casualties among the rebels, who oppose central rule by Kiev's pro-Western leaders.
President Petro Poroshenko has ordered government forces to retake control of the border from the rebels after Kiev and the United States accused Russia of sending fighters and weapons, including tanks, across the frontier. Moscow denies this.
Poroshenko said on Monday (June 16) that government forces had already re-established control of a more than 250-km (156-mile) stretch of the almost 2,000-km (1,240-mile) land border with Russia.
Kiev says 125 Ukrainian serviceman have been killed since the start of a military operation to defeat the separatists in May. Scores of separatist fighters have also been killed in fighting, as well as an unknown number of civilians.
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