Scarred by Ukraine Crossfire, Slovyansk Faces Long Road to Recovery

As published in The Moscow Times By Francesca Ebel

In the weeks that have passed since Ukrainian government forces reclaimed Slovyansk, residents of the battle-scarred east Ukrainian city are still struggling to come to terms with its three-month occupation by pro-Russian rebels. At night, Slovyansk’s main square springs to life. Locals gather around the imposing figure of Lenin, their faces cast in the monument’s shadow. Some lounge on benches, now painted in the yellow and blue hues of the Ukrainian flag. They flirt and laugh and make toasts to “Victory,” “Glory” and “Peace.” The hubbub of chatter can be heard into the early hours of the morning. Looking up at the night sky, the twinkling clusters of stars seem the brightest in any Ukrainian metropolis. Not to be mistaken for the ordinary romance of a warm, summer night. At the edge of the square, a dozen soldiers man an armored jeep, their guns loaded. The city’s residents flock to the square to use its electricity supply and its strong Internet connection. With no electricity to power the city’s lights, the rest of Slovyansk is left empty and soulless…

To read the full article, visit the Moscow Times website.   (photo credits: Oleksandr Ratushnyak)


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