190729 PiskyPisky is a Donetsk suburb, which is located between the occupied city and the Donetsk airport. Despite the agreed summer truce, the situation nearby remains tense.

 

In Donbas, veterans and volunteers marked the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Pisky.

 

Pisky is a suburb of Donetsk located between the occupied city and the Donetsk airport. The village is still a main flashpoint in the war.

 

In May 2014, after the so-called “referendums” on the sovereignty of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, it had been seized by militants. Ukrainian soldiers reclaimed Pisky two months later — at the end of July.

 

 

That didn’t stop the shelling, however. The suburb is now almost completely destroyed and there are no residents left there. With the area restricted, veterans and volunteers met at Pervomaiske, a nearby village.

 

In Pervomaiske, priests held a prayer service dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives.

 

“For several months, 20 people were with me. Fourteen were from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Five of them died from our battalion,” Ivan, a veteran, said.

 

Stepan Kachurovskyi recalled his group deploying on a mission to Pisky. The Russian-led forces suddenly opened fire. He was wounded and four of his comrades killed.

 

“They shot at us. They were not visible. They were hidden and opened fire. That’s why we suffered those losses. If we had anticipated the battle, that wouldn’t have happened,” Kachurovskyi said.

 

Volodymyr, “Call-sign Miron” came from Donetsk. In 2014, he joined a volunteer battalion in the city of Dnipro, leaving behind his business. He recalled soldiers singing the Ukrainian anthem right in the trenches during the liberation of Pisky.

 

“On the left flank, we heard the Ukrainian national anthem. We immediately joined in. Then, we heard the right flank starting to sing. It gave us moral support and a positive burst of energy,” he said.

 

Service medals have been awarded to 264 soldiers. Many of them received the medal posthumously.

 

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