It’s difficult to believe that there isn’t a sense of fear in eastern Ukraine’s villages, towns and cities. This is especially true if you live within striking distance of Russian artillery and the fighting in Bakhmut.
We were awakened by the sound of an explosion at Kramatorsk when we woke up in the morning.
One person was killed when a Russian missile struck a residential neighborhood.
Whole apartments were destroyed, and rescue workers began to rescue the injured. Survivors searched the wreckage for their belongings.
Their contents were scattered across the street, as well as glass and debris from the explosion.
US drone crashes in Black Sea – Follow Ukraine war live updates
As medics arrived to treat their wounds, the elderly and vulnerable were helped slowly from the ruins.
As a medic treated the nastily burned hands of an elderly resident, we watched.
While we were filming, the sirens of air raid started over again.
Kramatorsk has been struck many times but is still a shock to those who live here.
“I was on the couch at home, talking to my daughter over the phone, and suddenly, dust and debris flew into my face. I couldn’t hear any other sounds and don’t want more. B******s! “,” a woman shouted at us.
Konstantinovka is 12kms (7.5 mi) away from the Bakhmut frontline.
There are still people living here in the many ruined apartments blocks, schools and government buildings. But there is not much peace.
Here, the Ukrainians replenish their troops.
Russians have lost the main route to Bakhmut, so huge tanks, trucks, armored personnel carriers, and ambulances race through residential backstreets to block single-lane roads that provide some safety for their journey further east.
The constant boom of outgoing Ukrainian artillery makes it a constant. Sometimes the distinctive sound of incoming rounds makes visitors such as me look up to adjust my helmet and body armour.
Some soldiers go in and others leave Bakhmut to meet up at petrol stations. They can drink coffee and talk to their comrades.
Russian aircrafts dump fuel in front US drone before crash
PM warns that the world is in danger
A group of volunteers medics bring supplies and a team of soldiers pull up to greet them.
After just leaving the fighting in Bakhmut they are now busy transferring food and medicines to their vehicles.
When I ask them what it’s like inside, the answer is simple: It’s hard. They need more of everything.
Ivan, a soldier, told me that it was really hard and that we need more of everything because it’s so difficult now. But we are holding onto.”
“That’s all, I don’t need to say anything else.”
You can find more of everything, including modern Western weapons.
There is more to come, but I sense that it won’t be soon enough based on what I saw of the equipment just a few kilometers away from the front.
Oleksandr, another soldier who had just arrived from a faraway part of the country, asked me if he was certain of victory.
His response was shockingly honest. “I believe it’s between 30 and 70 in our favor that we will win the fight for Bakhmut.”
He also confirmed that Russia has many soldiers fighting on the battlefield.
“Russia has many soldiers there, but they are suffering a lot more than us, much more.”
President Zelenskyy stated that the defense of the east as well as relief of Bakhmut are priorities for Ukraine.
Some military analysts disagree with his assertions, but he stated in no uncertain terms that Ukraine’s fight will be won in the east.
He says that now is the most crucial period of war, rightly or wrongly.
Stuart Ramsay reports on eastern Ukraine with Toby Nash as camera operator and Nick Davenport as producers.