Ukraine's virtually destroyed cities: what they were like before the war
Ukraine is big and diverse. It impresses foreigners with its high mountains, endless steppes, dense forests, and incredibly friendly people. But now, because of constant enemy shelling, many towns and villages have been virtually wiped off the face of the earth. What were the settlements destroyed by the Russians before the war?
Since 2014, the city served as the regional center of Luhansk Oblast. Since that time, the standard industrial settlement built around factories developed rapidly. A large number of large enterprises, including the Azot chemical plant, provided jobs for tens of thousands of local residents.
It is hard to call Severodonetsk a tourist city. However, the city was comfortable to live in. Geometrically flat blocks, tall gray high-rise buildings, sports centers, and cultural centers. Now, according to various sources, 70 to 90 percent of the housing stock has been destroyed. Russian propaganda tells that the city is being rebuilt, but locals who managed to escape the occupation assure that this is not true.
Before the war, Sviatogorsk was one of the tourist and religious centers of Donbas. Here, among the limestone mountains, is the Holy Dormition Sviatogorsk Lavra, and a monument to Artem rises above it. By the way, there have long been debates about it: to remove this symbol of the Soviet Union or leave it, because of its author - the famous architect Ivan Kavaleridze.
The town itself is practically shrouded in a pine forest. By the way, here was sold delicious jam made of cones, roses, and mint. Among the tall trees on the river bank were children's camps, which annually hosted hundreds of children from all over Ukraine.
Now the invaders bombard Sviatogorsk almost every day. The lavra and private houses have been badly damaged by the enemy's attacks, and the center of the city has also suffered. The city is still standing, but it will take more than a year to restore it.
Another industrial town in the Donetsk region, formerly inhabited mainly by miners and their families. It is a very cozy community, which in recent years has been rapidly developing and improving. Every year, hundreds of people gathered in the center of Ugledar for Miner's Day, some even coming from neighboring villages to celebrate the town's main holiday together.
People loved Ugledar because it was a comfortable place to live. Virtually everyone knew each other, were family friends, and greeted each other upon meeting.
Now 100% of the city's housing stock has been destroyed, and fierce fighting has been going on around Ugledar for months.
The history of Bakhmut began in the 16th century. It is still unknown exactly when the first settlement appeared here. However, with the opening of the salt works, the town began to grow rapidly. And later coal mines started working here, which brought even more people here.
It is really a beautiful town, which before the war had more than 50 sights, including the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, the Church of St. John Chrysostom, Bakhmut Mosque... And there were also many educational institutions here.
Now more than half of the housing fund of the city has been destroyed, and administrative buildings, a hospital and schools have suffered considerable damage. Of the 80,000 people who lived here before the war, about 3,000 remained. The rest have left, trying to escape the shelling.
Avdeevka was known for its industrial facilities before the war. But residents of Donbas know that there are many amazing locations here. What about the so-called "blue lakes," near which the locals were constantly gathering? And the oak forest, in which it is easy to get lost, or the pine forest, which was so loved by the local youth.
It was a nice town with long streets. And also here they cooked the most delicious Avdeevskaya porridge, the recipe of which was handed down from generation to generation. You won't find it anywhere else in the world.
Today the whole of Ukraine knows about Avdeevka. From the first days of the full-scale invasion, it became one of the main targets of the occupant. Here, by the way, the Russian Federation loses hundreds of its soldiers and dozens of pieces of equipment every day.
There is a lot of talk right now about how cities destroyed by the Russian invaders will be rebuilt. There are many versions: from attracting foreign investors to rebuilding settlements at the expense of reparations. Time will tell how it will be. But our cities are standing. Even if they are temporarily occupied or nearly destroyed.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told how Ugledar looks after enemy shelling.
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