The latest reports have come in from Horlovka, Donbass, indicating that around 15 peaceful, law-abiding residents have been harmed by the shelling of Kiev’s forces. The civilians were wounded as part of Kiev’s latest May Offensive, which cynically occurred as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker visited the front lines. Around one thousand artillery rounds were fired at the people around the time of his visit.
Here is the VOA’s story on our recent visit to eastern Ukraine.
US Envoy Visits Ukraine Frontlines https://t.co/gLwjgC8vEk
— Kurt Volker (@SpecRepUkraine) May 16, 2018
According to the Mayor of Horlovka, Ivan Prikhodko, the total number of residents injured from the Ukrainian shelling, which began on May 9th, and continued throughout the May offensive has risen to 15.
Prikhodko said that on the night of May 24th, in the raion (district) of Zaitsevo, a home was destroyed by Ukrainian shelling, though, Thank God, in that incident, no one was killed.
Mayor Prikhodko was quoted as saying:
Unfortunately, now there is a shelling in the districts of Zaitsevo – Holma – Dolomite – Bayrak, in the fields.
Since May 9th … 119 houses have been destroyed or damaged in Gorlovka. Four civilians were killed, and eleven wounded.”
As noted, events have really heated up in Donbass since early May, in what many are referring to as the May Offensive. Ollie Richardson wrote a very detailed article covering these events at Stalkerzone, an excellent website for following the Ukraine Crisis. In the article, he provided much evidence, as well as an overview of the events that occurred during this month. It was noted that within 24 hours prior to the arrival of US Representative Volker, Kiev fired on Donbass around 534 shells. During Volker’s visit from May 14th to the 16th, around 701 one shells were fired.
On May 17th, 35-year-old humanitarian aid worker Elena Voronenko was killed when an artillery shell exploded through her roof.
This is what the residents of Horlovka have to live with on a daily basis.
Horlovka, also called Gorlovka or Horlivka – depending on language and accent, was a beautiful and peaceful city before the war, not a resort city, but it always had a certain industrial charm to it.
It’s that’s hard to describe, but if you know Eastern Ukraine, it is an unmistakable atmosphere.
The Mayor of Horlovka, Ivan Prikhodko, has become a bit of a local hero, as he takes the safety of his citizens very seriously. The Mayor has spoken before on the Humanitarian Crisis in his city, which was known for its chemical and coal industry.
Another distinguishing feature of Horlovka is it’s famous mines, which are very iconic and typical for the region.
Hands down one of the most beautiful things in the entire region (second only to Svyatogorsk Lavra) is Theophany Cathedral.
The Cathedral is home to one of the most beautiful Iconostas I have ever seen in any small provincial town.It’s small, yet it’s gold and silver opulence easily rivals the cathedrals in the great cities.
It’s truly something of rare beauty, and never reported on in the mainstream media. People have heard of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and those in the major cities of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kiev, yet they often assume the countryside is filled with nothing. They have no idea of the beauty in small provincial cities like Horlovka.
This Cathedral is also home to some of the greatest Heroes in the entire Ukrainian crisis, who go completely unsung and without proper praise for their Podvig of mercy. I am speaking about the clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, the most popular religious community in Ukraine, and the only canonical Church recognized by the international Orthodox community.
When bombs were falling left and right on the women and children of Donbass, the Church quickly opened her golden doors, and silver floors, as shelter, covering, and protection for Ukrainian families, and the Cathedral served also as a bomb shelter.
The Church is filled with people who without want for weapons or armor, do everything a human can possibly do, and somethings impossible for mortal men, to save their fellow people. And Clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, led by Metropolitan Onufry never ask, nor care which language a refugee speaks. The doors of mercy and compassion are constantly open for all.
Even my pronunciation of the city’s name is “surzhik”, a dialect between Russian and Ukrainian. This is the way Ukraine was prior to the war, it did not matter what part of the country you were from, we are all human, and we are one Rus’ people. And now Rus’ people are being put to fire and sword by the those with the same fascist ideology as those who invaded in 1941, on the Day of all Saints Resplendent in the Russian lands.
Make no mistake, Children are specifically the target of the fascists. The actions of those who spread terror on Ukrainian soil against peaceful residents will never be forgotten by Ukrainians and Russians, nor will it ever be forgotten when President Poroshenko said:
Our Children will go to school – theirs (Eastern Ukrainians) will be hiding in bomb shelters
The real question is, will the rest of the world remember? Do they even care?
“A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and bitter lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more…глас в Раме слышен, плач и рыдание и вопль великий; Рахиль плачет о детях своих и не хочет утешиться, ибо их нет…Чути голос у Рамі, плач і ридання та голосіння велике: Рахиль плаче за дітьми своїми, і не дається розважити себе, бо їх нема.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.