Residents of North of Soledar, Ukraine Yearn for Peace

Ukrainian Town Of Siversk Braces For War Despite New Year Celebrations

Residents in the Ukrainian town of Siversk embraced a modest New Year celebration this week, hoping to not suffer the same fate as nearby Soledar during the ongoing war. Despite a banner hung up on the entrance of their bomb shelter featuring the words “Happy New Year 2023, Year of the Rabbit, Year of Victory!”, the fearful community had little to celebrate.

Oleksandr Kuzenko, 64, and three elderly women he resides with take refuge in the basement of the bomb shelter in Siversk, a town in eastern Ukraine that was the victim of heavy fighting during the summer. Draped with tinsel garlands, the town, having 1,700 residents according to authorities, receive little news from the front due to the lack of gas, electricity and water and especially the internet.

The Russian Defense Ministry’s claim of victory at Soledar has caused much fear among the residents who now try to maintain basic services through volunteers. Oleksiy Vorobyov, head of Siversk’s civil-military administration, commented saying they provide stoves, firewood, food and electric generators, while the residents only miss one thing: peace.

Dmytro Afanasiev, 34, expressed concern of the dying people and simply hoped for the fighting to stop. Despite these worries, the people are hopeful to survive the war. Valentyna Kuteyko, 61, scratched a dog’s ear and remarked, “We are not afraid, let them shoot” as she vowed to stay and survive in Siversk.

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