Frontline soldiers prepare for winter in Donbas

War in the Donbas

Temperatures are going to drop swiftly in Ukraine, and soldiers are preparing to deal with the cold weather.

Our correspondent went to see how the preparations are going.

Vyacheslav (last name not revealed to protect the person’s identity), a solider in the Ukrainian army, made an oven from bricks and clay. He and his brothers in arms worked on it for three days.

“Back home, I was doing renovations. It came in handy here in the army. We made this oven cause I know how. I learned how to do it in civilian life. We built it using bricks and clay. It is more efficient and warmer and you can use it to make food,” Vyacheslav said.

The soldiers also plan to install a makeshift stove and put metal tiles around it for fire protection.

“It is better not to stoke the oven during daytime, because smoke is very visible and the opposing forces would be able to spot Ukrainian positions,” Vyacheslav said.

While weather is favorable, soldiers are working hard to stockpile timber for the ovens and to insulate the trenches.

“We line it from the inside with tape, then thermal insulation, so that in winter, it will stay warm inside. After that, we do the makeshift stoves and firewood. We make stockpiles for 10 days, and then, if we see that it isn’t enough, we bring more firewood,” said solidier Andriy.

A bomb shelter is being insulated with yellow and blue carpet flooring. Soldiers bought it with their own money. The shelter looks like a small office. Stationery is on the shelves and on the table. A computer is used by soldiers to stay in touch with their families.

“My wife, daughter and parents are waiting for me, saying ‘come back sooner.’ Around once a week, we call each other. We use internet a bit more often,” said Ukrainian serviceman Ihor.

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