The Russians are shelling them, meanwhile they are planting potatoes. Residents of the Ukrainian village of Bohojavlenka in the Donetsk region are enjoying the sunny weather despite Russian attacks occurring only 10 kilometers away. They are starting to grow potatoes, beets or perhaps courgettes on the beds. And they hope for peace soon.
Ukrainians are hoeing flower beds 10 kilometers from the front line Video: Radio Free Europe
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 1500 inhabitants lived in the Ukrainian village of Bohojavlence. Today, there are only a little over 200 of them left on the spot. Shelling in the village is happening more and more often. “You don’t know when it will come again. Now it’s calm, but the ruckus can start right away. There is shelling on the outskirts of the village, but it’s different. We’re planting potatoes. We got the seed. People are taking it. Onions, carrots, beetroot , parsley, cucumbers, zucchini – that’s all you need,” describes the resident of Bohojavlenka Natalya, adding that she hopes for an early Ukrainian victory and peace.
The Russians are not advancing on the Bohojavlenka front. Nevertheless, according to the interviewed Ukrainian soldiers, they continue shelling. “We defeated them, but they are constantly shooting and shelling absolutely everything, wherever they want, whether it’s military positions or civilians. Just randomly. Yesterday they were firing tanks, artillery and Grad rocket launchers. Today too,” explains the 68 press officer Yevhen Nazarenko of the Jaeger Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian army is surprised by the behavior of the local population. “A retired woman, a grandmother, lived near us. She went with her bag to the shop, which is about 1.5 kilometers away, on the other side of the village. She returned in a few hours. I say to her: ‘Grandma, why are you coming here? First of all, I don’t understand why you are from here she did not go away, and secondly tell me what you need and I will bring it to you myself.’ Well, we bought a few things for her and brought them to her,” says the deputy commander of the 68th Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
But according to local residents, this spring is different from previous ones. “Although the strawberries are blooming, the onions have already grown – it’s spring. Before the war, there were neighbors all around. You went out into the garden – here was a neighbor, there was a neighbor… We were outside and we were talking about something. Back then, everything was completely different,” he concludes Natalja with the fact that she and her family will definitely not leave Bohojavlenka.
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