As Kiev and anti-government forces in eastern Ukraine prepare for heavy artillery withdrawal and prisoner exchanges, the residents of Debaltsevo, the hotspot of the recent fighting, have plucked up courage to walk the streets of their town again.
After the Ukrainian military withdrew their forces “en mass” from war-torn Debaltsevo on Wednesday, the locals, terrified by weeks of shelling, began to crawl out of their bomb shelters, scavenging for what thousands of Kiev troops left behind – personal belongings, food or warm clothes.
Residents weren’t prepared to talk to journalists for a while, but when they did it was with long pent-up bitterness.
“We would like to thank Ukraine that it made us homeless, destroyed our homes,” local women tell RT at the abandoned Ukrainian army’s military camp. “We’ve been living in basements since the summer.”