TIME is running out for the residents of a Ukrainian ghost town who face the fury of the Russian attack.
Nadiezhda and her husband Yurii live in a basement and cook in the yard, where they buried a neighbor killed by lightning.
They have no electricity, gas or running water.
Her block of flats has a 10-meter hole in the front that was ripped apart by shells.
But they are determined to stay.
And they barely flinch in the howls of incoming rounds that began on the second day of the war.
Around 100,000 people have fled Lysyhansk, Severodonetsk’s zombie twin city.
Between 10,000 and 20,000 remain.
Only duty and desperation keep them there.
Nadiezhda, 61, and Yurii are among the last six occupants of a five-story Soviet block that used to house 100 people.
They live on alms from volunteers who run the gauntlet of Russian artillery that surrounds the city on three sides.
Residents charge their phones on their soldiers’ generators, but only to use them as flashlights as there is no cellular signal in the city.
All stores are closed.
All working cars are gone.
Only the tattered wrecks of the blown up vehicles litter the empty streets.
Some vehicles without windows and wheels were pulled into makeshift roadblocks.
But the checkpoints are mostly unmanned because there are so few residents.
Three bridges connecting Lysychansk with Severodonetsk were all destroyed.
“We are almost completely cut off. It’s almost as bad as Mariupol,” Nadiezhda said, referring to the siege of the southern port that killed up to 20,000 people.
The ruins of the city’s Palace of Culture smolder near her home.
In a garden square, the tails of two Russian missiles stuck out of the ground.
Nadiezhdah added: “My parents met in this square. I’ve lived here all my life. My heart is bleeding, but where can I go?”
Brussels strengthens hope for EU state
THE European Commission yesterday supported Ukraine’s application for EU candidate status.
The war-torn nation could now be added to the list of countries vying for membership as early as next week.
All 27 EU heads of state and government must approve the candidacy.
The heads of state and government of France, Germany and Italy gave their support during a trip to Kyiv on Thursday.
The European Commission formally endorsed the application yesterday.
Wearing a jacket in Ukraine’s colors, boss Ursula von der Leyen said: “We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us for the European dream.”
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy welcomed the decision as “a first step towards EU membership, which will certainly bring our victory closer”.
He thanked Ms von der Leyen for the commission’s “historic decision” and said he expected a positive outcome at the summit on 23-24. June.
Russia accused the West of manipulating Ukraine with promises of integration.
The poor and lonely are usually left behind.
The sun watched stooped old ladies pull carts over broken glass while artillery thundered around.
Some don’t seem to care whether they live in Ukraine or Russia.
Some want Putin to win.
Police chief Oleh Hryhorov said around 35 people were recently arrested for collaborating with Russian forces.
For those who want to leave, the only way out is through the police or humanitarian convoys.
Hryhorov added: “Even if you have a car, there is no gas to buy.”
Around 30 to 40 people venture onto the streets every day.
Eight months pregnant Karina, her husband, mother and sister paid someone £400 to take her to safety, only for them to disappear with their money.
The family eventually left with the help of Christian charity Word Of Life.
Volunteer Jerry O’Reilly shrugged off the risks, saying: “I grew up in Belfast. If this is the day God has assigned me, then I don’t mind if it happens.”
At least four people were killed and seven others injured in airstrikes after leaving the country.
Nadiezda gave us her son’s cell phone number and said: “Please tell him that we are still alive. We will survive. i am an optimist But only God knows how it will end.”
Russian missile supplier is flashed
VLADIMIR Putin suffered another sea embarrassment when a Russian boat transporting air defense systems to Snake Island was wrecked by the Ukrainian Navy yesterday.
It said the Vasily Bekh would be used to transport ammunition, weapons and personnel to the island, which is vital to protecting sea routes out of the key port of Odessa.
Snake Island, 20 miles offshore, was the famous spot where Ukrainian defenders responded to calls for surrender by saying, “Russian warship, fuck off.”
The message was broadcast over ship radios and immediately became a rallying cry of resistance.
That warship, the 12,490-ton missile cruiser Moskva, was then sunk on April 14.
It was said to have been hit by two Ukrainian-made Neptune cruise missiles, killing many.
Dozens more people were thought to have died when the Vasily Bekh was hit in the Black Sea yesterday.
Moscow has refused to confirm the incident.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5588019/residents-ukrainian-ghost-town-russian-attacks/ The last remaining residents of the Ukrainian ghost town face the fury of the Russian attack