Refugees from Gorlovka
The town of Gorlovka is under the control of the army of the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic. During the past weeks, the town has been under continued shelling and because of this, more and more people are literally running away from their houses.
I met refugees from the east for the first time in a camp near Kiev. While we were talking in a quiet sanatorium, children were playing around us, and some were quarrelling about who was to use the washing machine first, it was hard to believe that a few days or weeks before, war had been their reality. Today, I could see those people leaving their home town – with little luggage, getting on minibuses which come to the station in the town’s suburbs every day at 10:00. I’m looking at them and have no doubt that these are people who had feared for their lives a few hours before. When they try to talk about what is going on in their town, they cry.
After the bridge on the river flowing through the town had been blown up and the withdrawal of the separatists to the other bank, the district where the station is proved to be a no man’s land and hence evacuation from Gorlovka can be organised relatively safely. The minibus, for which the refugees are waiting, is in service thanks to the volunteers of the Christian community of “Good News” from Sloviansk. Since the beginning of the war, the drivers have taken more than 3,500 people from places of shelling. They take everyone for free, to Sloviansk, where some of them stay and some travel further – to their families or friends. The ones who have nowhere to go, are taken to the transitory camp in Sviatogorsk.