As Russian forces retreat into Ukraine, the small town of Stoyanka experienced its first day without shelling. After 72 hours of fighting, this town on the outskirts of kyiv managed to repel the Russian forces. In the city, civilians and soldiers try to recreate a bit of normality. Report by Nicolas Tonev, special envoy of Europe 1.
After 72 hours of fierce fighting, the Ukrainian forces succeeded in pushing back the Russian troops by a few kilometers from the positions they occupied on the west and north-west of kyiv. The small town of Stoyanka, located on a strategic crossroads of road going west and north, is one of those localities which experienced Thursday, March 31 their first day without bombardments and without exchanges of fire since almost the beginning of the war. Russian offensive. Civilian or military, everyone then recreates a semblance of normality in a few hours and finds reasons to rejoice or tasks to accomplish.
“Rockets and missiles were flying in all directions”
“For 26 days, rockets and missiles were flying in all directions”, explains a resident of the city at the microphone of Europe 1. It is finally in the past for Stoyanka who knows her first day without bombardments. Life begins again in its own way in this kind of situation. The bottles clash, but it’s not aperitif time yet.
“The store was bombed two weeks ago. We come to save what can be saved from thieves,” explains another man. But the war does not prevent tastes from remaining. “We prefer the dry red wines of the old world, less the rosés. And on strong alcohols, it’s gone entirely”, details a trader. Despite the disaster, he smiles.
“There are a lot of corpses”
For this first day without bombardment, music rises from the back of a partially destroyed supermarket. Two Territorial Defense men are finally at rest. “You have to listen, relax, change your mind to rest your warrior spirit. War creates several things: destruction, separation, death and also the union of people. Three disadvantages for an advantage: the union of people. Now everyone is united and everyone helps each other,” said one.
But the bodies abandoned not far from there are still present. They are factors of discord between civilians and soldiers. “There are a lot of corpses. I’m not a soldier, I’m just a man. And if I can go there, we can pick them up,” said a man.
“So that you understand at hospital number 9, at the morgue, it’s a table in the basement that will take the bodies back. That’s what the morgue is. There aren’t even any fridges”, retorts another. Even in a newfound calm, the war remains ruthless.