1681921595 REPORTING quotMaybe the front is getting closerquot Evacuations resume

REPORTING. "Maybe the front is getting closer?" : Evacuations resume in Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine after fresh bombing

A first shelling on Friday left 15 dead, before fresh strikes broke out Monday night in Sloviansk, Ukraine, where residents are being urged to leave the country.

The explosion blew the beauty salon’s heavy door off its hinges. Alexei, 86, any help is welcome. “Last night around 1.30am there was an explosion, a huge explosion: the roof was blown up, all the windows were broken. There are no more walls and a large crater with dangling electrical cables. The city of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine experienced relative calm, but strikes resumed on Friday April 14 and 15 people died in the explosion of their HLM, and on the night of Monday the 17th to Tuesday the 17th April 18, a series of strikes broke out in the city center.

>> War in Ukraine: follow our lives

Ludmila, 76, approaches the edge of the hole created by the explosion in front of the beauty salon. “There, everything is destroyed, it’s maybe four meters deep, this crater is huge! This Ukrainian woman complains. It’s been bombing more often for two weeks. Maybe the front is getting closer, you understand?”

Nadiia had just found her family

The beauty salon is owned by her family, who stayed in the west of the country. Ludmila had decided to return to Sloviansk this winter. With these new strikes, the municipality encourages residents to leave and Ludmila hesitates. “Oh, I don’t know, we’ll see. If this continues, of course I have to go because I don’t want to die. Even though I’m old, I want to live!”

The explosion caused damage to this beauty salon in Sloviansk, April 14, 2023. (MATHILDE DEHIMI / RADIO FRANCE)

The explosion caused damage to this beauty salon in Sloviansk, April 14, 2023. (MATHILDE DEHIMI / RADIO FRANCE)

The city has set up evacuation trains, but there is no crowd at Sloviansk station. Alina put her suitcases in a corner. She lives in Lyman near Sloviansk and flees to Kiev with her granddaughter and grandmother. “Lyman Police have asked us to get ready and then evacuate. I don’t plan to go for long, maybe a month, when things calm down we’ll go back home.”

>> “The Fear of Missiles” or Life “Without a Man”, the Carnelian Choice of Ukrainian Refugee Women in France

The bombing of an HLM on Friday shaped the mood. Nadiia, who was displaced in Dnipro for a year, had just found her family when things exploded and her plans suddenly changed. “We were here over New Year’s Eve, there were no bombings. We thought we could come back here.” We will come back here one day, Nadiia adds, “because we miss our city.”

War in Ukraine: Sloviansk, evacuations resume after new bombings – report by Mathilde Dehimi