The city that once had some one million residents is now down to some 400,000. The traffic cops are gone after four of them were killed at point blank range. Car theft has increased and most streets don't even have any traffic to speak of. Most shops are boarded up as if a Hurricane were coming. Those people that have not been able to get out of the city don't leave the safety of their homes. Even if they did there really is nowhere to go.
What's coming to this once busy industrial city are government troops. The separatists or rebels are trying to empty out neighborhoods and the roads are full of cars leading to anywhere that the people can go to. Some are heading to Russia others to Kiev. The rest are simply just wanting to get the heck out of town. The train station is packed with families wanting to leave but there simply are no more tickets to be had. Any new tickets that are available wont get you a seat until next week.
Government troops lost 19 and some 93 were wounded from rocket attacks this past weekend. Which is the worst since the air transport attack that cost some 40 government soldiers their lives. President Poroshenko has vowed to take the fight to the rebels and he is now stating that this could be an all or nothing sort of fight. Eastern Ukraine has not seen fighting and devastation like this since WWII. As the rebels are retreating they are using a scorched earth type of policy. They are blowing up bridges and bombing roads which is causing those who are trying to get out more difficulty.
A cease fire had been in place in June for some ten days which was going to allow the two sides to sit down and talk but the rebels refused. This mentality of all or nothing is going to destroy more than this country can afford. Russia had from the beginning of this conflict pushed for the rebels. In recent weeks they have been back pedaling from this connection. The rebels have Russian equipment and they have a large contingent of fighters but they don't have the reserves like the government has at it disposal.
Putin has gotten what he wanted and that is the Crimea. He has gotten the oil reserves that are off the Crimean coast but he has left a country that in the beginning only wanted to trade with the European Union.
This fighting must stop now before it goes so deep that the Ukraine can not repair it.