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Photos: The bread delivery runs in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbas | Russia-Ukraine war News


With three giant bags tucked under the handlebars of his red and white motorcycle, Oleksandr raced through winding trails in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, delivering bread to the remaining locals.

Almost every day, Russian air strikes hit the town of Siversk, about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the front line, barely moving since last summer.

Oleksandr has just received bread at the Siversk town hall humanitarian center, which receives about 2,500 loaves of bread twice a week from the cities of Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka.

“We need to drive really fast so nothing can catch us,” said Oleksandr, referring to the possibility of shelling.

Under the spring sun, the 44-year-old drove at full speed until he came to a dirt road with small houses and blooming trees.

He started delivering same-day deliveries to his neighbors, right across from his own home.

Olena Ishakova, 62, came out of the house in a long blue dress with pockets and a yellow collar.

“On Tuesday we get two loaves of white bread, on Thursday we get sweet bread and black bread,” Ishakova said.

She took loaves of bread wrapped in bags with the logo of the “World Food Program”.

Ishakova’s daughter and granddaughter were evacuated last February to Ukraine’s more peaceful western region, but she remains in Siversk with her husband.

In July and August, Russian forces launched small but unsuccessful attacks on the town, which they also shelled.

The eastern part of Siversk with high-rise buildings was the worst damaged, while the western part and smaller houses were relatively unaffected.

“It will be a year since we have power on May 5,” Ishakova said, to the sound of cannons pounding behind.

“We don’t know who is shooting, or from where. We just heard explosions… I was sitting in the house, the windows were shaking, it was scary, it was very scary,” she said.

Oleksandr ran into Valentyna Zaruba, 73, a bread delivery man on a neighboring street.

“I’m in charge of my street and someone else is in charge of theirs, that’s how we work,” explains Zaruba.

Depending on the days, Zaruba delivers bread in a wheelbarrow or by her bicycle.

The night before, shelling damaged three houses down the street. An 82-year-old man was injured.

Holding his bicycle, Zaruba went to see Lyubov Shcherbak, who was surrounded by dozens of hens and four roosters.

“How can we live without bread? There’s nowhere for us to bake it” in Siversk, she said.

“I don’t know what to think anymore. I hope things get better… I don’t know,” she said, her gaze lost on the horizon.

Zaruba, standing next to her, said she “couldn’t leave an elderly woman alone. My conscience won’t let me.

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