After several days of terrible fighting, nothing was left of the village of Pisky — says defender
What is the current situation in Avdiivka and Pisky? We asked Yehor Firsov, a fighter of the territorial defense and a tactical medic. Pre-war, Yehor Firsov was a People’s Deputy of Ukraine of the 7th and 8th convocations.
What is the current situation in Avdiivka?
Yehor Firsov: What has been happening over the past few months is still happening. The enemy is trying to wipe the city of Avdiivka off the face of the earth. There is shelling every hour, and they are shelling everything: the main road, schools, residential areas, and hospitals.
An even worse story is taking place in Pisky, which is next to Avdiivka. The orcs (Russians – ed.) cannot take Avdiivka directly, so they are trying to bypass it from the rear, from Pisky. After a few days of such terrible fighting, nothing was left of Pisky. It is simply not there. Not a single building has survived, and everything around the area has either become a desert or it is in ruins.
A similar situation is in Avdiivka. The only thing is that Avdiivka is still a bigger city. It is industrial with a huge factory, but it is almost impossible to live there. The city endures constant destruction, constant injuries, and constant deaths.
Civilians remain in the city. This problem is difficult to solve because people do not want to leave, and it is difficult to forcibly move them. There are several thousand of them, and these are mostly elderly people. By putting themselves at risk, they also put other people in danger, particularly volunteers and doctors. We are forced to go on call if civilians are injured. Instead of just leaving to save their own lives and the lives of others, they stay there.
Moreover, there are several cases where families stay with their children. The children have become hostages in this situation because their parents are not leaving. According to Ukrainian law, no one can remove a child from their guardians, so they must remain in the city surrounded by fear and war.
Is evacuation from Avdiivka even possible?
Yehor Firsov: Everything happening in the frontline cities happens at one’s peril and risk. Once you’re there, there’s no guarantee that you’ll leave, and everything will be fine. A projectile can fly anywhere and at any time. However, there is a theoretical possibility of leaving. There may be a few hours a day when there is no shooting. Other times, there are explosions and debris everywhere. People mostly sit in basements and come out only to cook food on the fire, and then they hide again.
The situation in Avdiivka and Pisky for the Ukrainian military
Yehor Firsov: The Russians consider scorched earth tactics the only possible way to capture Ukrainian territories. Their first tactical line failed. They thought that they would be met with bread and salt, but this did not happen even in the eastern parts of Ukraine. No one met them, not even mayors, people, or opinion leaders. Their infantry cannot come in because our defensive line, our artillery, and our Armed Forces are collectively working very well. The only thing left for them is to use up their ammunition, which they have accumulated for decades, and wipe the cities off the face of the earth.
I can say that our military, even though it is very difficult from all sides, is holding on. For almost half a year, the Russians have been trying to take Avdiivka and its suburbs, but Avdiivka is holding on. The battalions defending Avdiivka are doing everything possible and impossible, as we are managing to protect the territory for now. I hope that we will have the strength to defend and withstand this huge wave of attack.
I have a feeling that the “Rashists” (Russians – ed.) are trying to make another leap. They also have no strength left as they are suffering losses. Now, if they earn some form of a victory, they will feel inspired and will push on. If Ukraine can hold on, it will bring our victory closer because the orcs will lose even more strength. This will give us a chance.