Our special correspondent reports from the special operation zone
The military of the Luhansk People's Republic, with the support of Russian forces, took control of the village of Metelkino, which is located southeast of Severodonetsk. The MK correspondent was one of the first to visit the liberated village and found out what its inhabitants had to endure.
Photo: Lina Korsak
The village of Metelkino is located just five kilometers from Severodonetsk. The shelling of the city that began in late February did not bypass it. There are no surviving houses, almost all residents left their homes and evacuated. Who is on the side of the Luhansk People's Republic, who is on the side of Ukraine.
Despite the fact that, according to the military, there are now 7-8 people left here, we were able to find only one. The rest of the people are so frightened that they simply do not leave their houses.
Gennady's house, as well as the neighbors' houses, is all dotted with fragments. The window panes are broken, the door is warped. The fence, which once encloses the territory of the dwelling, is scattered on the ground with tin sheets.
Gennady worked all his life in Severodonetsk at the Azot chemical plant. On June 1, he himself came to the territory of the plant, but he could not go back. So the man was taken hostage by the Ukrainian armed formations, who settled in the plant's bomb shelters.
Photo: Lina Korsak
—Very tense, – the interlocutor admits. “People were crying in fear all the time. There was no food, there was practically no drinking water.
– The shelter was not to say that it was full, about 22 people. The shelter itself is large, it was built during the Soviet Union. You yourself know the scale of what they were then.
When asked if Ukrainian servicemen provided at least some support to civilians who found themselves in a hopeless situation, Gennady replies that the Armed Forces of Ukraine were simply indifferent to the civilian population.
– They did not treat us in any way, they went about their business. The military did not offer food or medicine to civilians.
– Until June 1, despite the shelling, I went to work. I didn’t want to hide in a bomb shelter, I delayed it to the last. Then it became very noisy, they were shooting incessantly, so I decided to go for cover.
According to the interlocutor, he, as an employee of the plant, knew the scheme of shelters from the very beginning. Using the water supply map, I cut off the water supply in a number of premises where it was necessary. On the contrary, I turned it on where necessary.
— There were two wells at the plant, we switched them to generators and pumped water ourselves for some time.
Photo: Lina Korsak
“No way,” the man admits. – As soon as heavy shelling began, the water supply stopped. There was simply no one to service the generator. Most of the Ukrainian military, while there was an opportunity, left the city in the direction of Lysichansk. This I saw with my own eyes. From the first day they massively began to leave the territory of the plant. Only the Nazis and foreigners remained.
– The evacuation to the other side was only at the very beginning, as soon as the connection was lost, the issue of evacuation was no longer raised. No one knew that a few days ago there was an agreement on a “green” corridor to the territory of the LPR.
Gennady said that for the past two months, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been constantly on the territory of the plant. They went in, they went out. Shooting regularly. A howitzer was located outside the plant, which fired at the peaceful areas of Severodonetsk. About ten days ago, Ukrainian troops brought equipment to Azot.
– Howitzers fired, Rapira cannons, there were two tanks on the territory, Cossack drove (Ukrainian armored personnel carrier – “MK”). The military communications antenna of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was on the largest pipe there, and they controlled it.
— I saw what was happening at Azovstal when people tried to leave from there. I didn’t want to repeat it, but it wasn’t safe to be there either. So I just plucked up the courage and decided – come what may.
I'm lucky to be local. At the exit from the territory of the plant, the Ukrainian military stopped me, began to check my documents and asked where I was going. I said that I live nearby and I want to run home for things. They consulted, twisted my documents and eventually allowed me to leave. I think I'm just lucky. These were probably the remaining Veseushniks, because the Nazis would most likely have shot them on the spot.
Photo: Lina Korsak
— “Aidar” was mainly located in Severodonetsk. There they committed atrocities, anyone will tell you about it. We rarely have.
Before the shelling began, they stood in the village for several days. They were not engaged in assault, but we heard constant insults from them. They went into any yard: “Why are you sitting here, waiting for the Russian world?” – and away we go. They themselves spoke some in Russian, some in Ukrainian, but they demanded that we only answer in “movie”.
—Nope. They “bombed” the stores, there was enough good. And what should we take? – Gennady spreads his hands.
When asked what he personally thinks about the change of power, the interlocutor answers with caution.
—What do I think? Just a couple of days since we were released. The LPR guys seem to be good, they helped with products. And what kind of “new power” it is, it will be seen further.