A small village in eastern Ukraine looks like something from the post-apocalypse after a month of heavy fighting between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian fighters.
The village of Semenovka, located on the outskirts of the major city of Slaviansk, has been extensively damaged by the renewed Ukrainian push to retake control of the east of the country. Slaviansk had been one of the most important Russian-backed rebel strongholds in the country, and the Ukrainian military’s capture of the city and its outlying regions earlier this month was hailed as a major symbolic victory.
However, nearly three months of fighting has left its mark on the region.
The Ukrainian military retook Semenovka on July 7.
The military had reportedly been shelling Semenovka since at least the end of May, though.
The express purpose was to drive militants out from the village to allow the Ukrainian military to advance more easily on Slaviansk.
The operation caused massive destruction to both infrastructure and housing throughout the village.
Pro-Russian separatists have also targeted railroads and bridges throughout eastern Ukraine in an attempt to stall the advance of the Ukrainian military.
These scenes of devastation are likely to proliferate as the Ukrainian military continues its mission to drive pro-Russian rebels out of the country.
Amid this strife, the International Monetary Fund in May approved a $US17 billion loan for Urkaine to help it pay its debts.
Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has appealed to the West for further economic aid to rebuild infrastructure throughout eastern Ukraine that has been destroyed during the conflict.
Meanwhile, Moscow has once again started deploying thousands of soldiers to the border with Ukraine.
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