Struggle for life in frontline town of Avdiivka, Ukraine

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Struggle for life in frontline town of Avdiivka, Ukraine

A new truce is scheduled to take effect Monday in eastern Ukraine. The group responsible for monitoring the conflict, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has expressed fresh concern.

CGTN’s Natalie Carney reports from the embattled frontline town of Avdiivka.
Follow Natalie Carney on Twitter @NatalieCarney77

Struggle for life in frontline town of Avdiivka, Ukraine

Struggle for life in frontline town of Avdiivka, Ukraine

A new truce is scheduled to take effect Monday in eastern Ukraine. The group responsible for monitoring the conflict, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has expressed fresh concern. CGTN's Natalie Carnie reports from the embattled frontline town of Avdiivka.

The house of 68-year-old Alexey Andrushko is in ruins. His frail hands search through the rubble for anything salvageable.

Another deadly night of fighting in Avdiivka has left more Ukrainian solders dead and civilian property destroyed.

“When the first shells started, they landed over there; my wife ran to the basement. She was dressed. I wasn’t. While I was getting dressed, another exploded. I was half-buried by rubble. I jumped to my feet, quickly put on my shoes, and started to move toward the basement. At that moment, the soldiers came asking ‘Old man, are you alive “Yes, alive. Help me,'” Andrushko said.

Alexey lives only two streets away from the frontline and believes his house was targeted because of the Ukrainian army bunker outside his front door.

He says he and his wife will now have to live in the only room left standing, the kitchen, after boarding up the windows to keep the icy cold winter weather out.

According to local officials in Avdiivka, there are 7,000 buildings in the town; 900 have been damage in the three years of clashes.

A wrecked house is the result of just an average night of fighting in eastern Ukraine. Amid this smoldering mess, can be seen a lot of household items, an iron, a bicycle, a shopping trolley, which highlights the personal impact the fighting is having on every resident in Avdiivka.

At one point, there is commotion in the street. One of the neighbors directs us into her backyard and tells us to start recording.

As we were filming a house destroyed by what we had been told was ammunition from the separatist side, a women grabbed us on the street and brought us into her back yard, her back shed and showed four crates of mortar shells.

More neighbors pointed out weapons stockpiled on their property. One evacuated house on the block had been taken over by soldiers.

Off camera, the residents tell us they are shelled daily and believe it’s because the soldiers and their weapons are here.

While both warring sides have agreed to withdraw heavy weapons from the front line by Monday, residents of Avdiivka remain skeptical.