SLOVIANSK: The sound of outgoing artillery and air raid sirens were heard Saturday in Sloviansk, a town in northern Donbas that had come under Russian attack the day before.
Two servicemen were brought to a hospital from a nearby town, but one of them was mortally wounded and could not be saved. The Russian strike early Friday had damaged several buildings, including a school.
The war has brought back painful memories for residents of Sloviansk, wherein 2014 Ukrainian government forces repulsed Russia-backed separatists after a fierce battle. In the years since, the separatists maintained control over part of the Donbas, and Moscow has now set out to capture the entire region.
Anna Direnskaya, 70, said she and her son and daughter-in-law decided to remain in Sloviansk. "I lived through 2014. I was also here. I didn't go anywhere and I don't want to go anywhere. I am not hiding from myself," she said while sitting in a wheelchair outside her damaged apartment building."I want peace."
Direnskaya, who like many in eastern Ukraine is a native Russian speaker, said she wishes the Russians would understand that Ukrainians are not bad people and there is no enmity between them.
"Why did this happen? Why is this happening? I don't know. Tell everyone I want peace and quiet," she said.