Report From Lyman: The Washington Post

Conditions continue to be grim in Lyman, Ukraine.

Residents of our sister city spend nights in apartment basements. Electricity and water are scarce.

Even chickens are too stressed out to lay eggs.

A Washington Post story on the city begins:

Before this city was occupied by Russian soldiers and the buildings had crumbled to rubble and ash under a rain of steel and fire, life was good for residents in the medley of apartment buildings known as the Triangle.

Grannies sat on benches and admired their grandchildren on the courtyard playground, and residents hauled vegetables from the small but bountiful community garden, even as the Russians drew near to this small city in the eastern Donetsk region.

This life splintered apart last spring, on April 25, when a missile or bomb fell from the sky and landed by the jungle gym, blowing out apartment windows and leaving a massive crater. A 7-year-old girl whose family had fled another part of the city to live with her grandmother was just getting to the bomb shelter when the strike occurred. The girl and a small black dog she held in her hands were crushed when a wall collapsed, residents said. She died on the way to a hospital.

An enormous crater bears witness to last spring’s bombing of Lyman by Russian forces. (Photo/Heidi Levine for the Washington Post)

That moment and other shelling triggered a mass instinctual decision: Residents would spend their nights and some of their days in the narrow, stuffy apartment basements on Pryvokzalna Street, where the next bomb could probably not reach them. Nearly a year later, and months after Russian forces were pushed out of Lyman last fall, life continues underground at the Triangle.

Click here for the full Washington Post article.

Westport will embark soon on a new round of assistance for our friends in the embattled town. For now, click here to contribute (under “Designation,” select “Westport – Lyman” from the dropdown menu). (Hat tip: Jane Nordli Jessep)

Lyubov Surzhon converted her basement storage unit into a bedroom. (Photo/Heidi Levine for the Washington Post)

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