0 Lugansk 2016: Around the War Torn City

Lugansk 2016: Around the War Torn City

Posted on July 18, 2016 by konst4

As we examined LPR capital in the past four parts, now we will go through the far outskirts of distant suburbs and immediate surroundings. There are also a quite traditional attractions like Slavyanoserbskaya manor in Aleksandrovskoe or memorial on the sharp tomb, there is an Aviation Museum under the open sky, that impresses not only with exhibits but with many signs of war on them, and there is finally a lot of traces of town abortive siege by Ukrainian army in the summer of 2014, whether it is a destroyed airport or abandoned positions near from the unattainable happiness. This post is quite grim – but it is the last about traces of the war in this series.

Let’s say thank you for this entire post to one man, whose name is not called, for obvious reasons, it is not necessary, so it is conventionally denoted “Michael”. Businessman with his family in the evacuation, he offered us a ride in the surrounding area of Lugansk in his car, and most of the waypoints were his initiative. In the morning we went to the Eastern quarters but took the course to the south-east, to Krasnodon and Izvarino through which a couple of days later, we had to leave the Donbass. On the outskirts of the city at the end of the Defense street (see. Last part) T-34 proudly stands there from 1971, and they say that, on May 9, he starts, moves down from the pedestal and goes to the city parade. In fact, almost all tanks are in operational condition, and in “reenactment” period of the present war militias even several times started them – but such machines were good just for the psychological attack because of the absence of any parts or ammunition. Also note that people are waiting for a minibus in the morning not to the city, but from the city – perhaps in Russia they want to withdraw money from their card and buy or sell something.


Over the tank there begins the path through the woods to the Sharp Tomb – a high hill (198m), that are actually called graves, a typical “strategic height”, that has not become LPR analogue of Saur-Tomb only because the war here was nearly reached. But in the Great Patriotic War the liberation of Voroshilovgrad began from a taken of sharp Tomb by the Red Army in February 1943, which was separated from the release of Stalino(Donetsk) by another six months. But the crucial role Sharp Tomb played in the year before the war – civil, when it became an outpost of the heaviest fighting of the proletarian Lugansk in the spring of 1919, which was the last stronghold in the Donbass of “Red”, with the White Army of General Denikin. The height and the city Denikin took then, but to this day the tradition is alive as Lugansk hard workers lined up a human chain from the ammunition plant to these heights, and passed Red Army ammunition. Now here it is a small, but very nice memorial – in this photo there is an obelisk and sculpture “The standard does not die”, both in 1965:


However, pyramid is much more interesting, as it is known as the “eagle with a standart” – it was built among the monuments of the “first wave” in 1945, some of which (in Kerch and Sevastopol) appeared before the fall of Berlin, and have got downright constructivist expression.


A pot with budenovka on the way to the obelisk as far more reminiscent of the 1920s with their wildness ideas than breech 1960:


Sights from Sharp Graves are really excellent, both for the tourist, and for the gunner. Giant gray waste slagheap impressed me in 2011 when we went from Donetsk to Lugansk on bus – it appeared in about half an hour before the bus caught up with it.


Lugansk as plain as the nose on your face, that resembles a city of the Urals and Siberia:


More about Sharp Tomb we knew from simtour, let me quote from his post:
Fierce fighting took place around the perimeter of the city. The fighting, which is very indicative of the fact that it was just a civil war. The war, when the brother fights against brother and neighbor fights against neighbor. For example, there is an information that the trenches for both the warring sides were dug by Lugansk people. Someone volunteered, and someone did this under duress. Someone defending the city, and someone helping the attacking troops. Even mobilization to defense units of Lugansk, and to Denikin’s army waged sometimes from the same places. For example, the Red retreat – white gain recruits; Red beat off white on the old position – there is a record of volunteers in the Red Army troops. Again in a circle. Some particularly “lucky” people managed to make war on the one side, then on the other side a few times. These were the merciless reality of the Civil War. – It is written in February 2014, when up to a new civil war and the new “fighting around the perimeter of the city” were only a few months.
Not far from the Sharp Tomb –there is a huge cemetery with a quite spectacular gates, where we stopped by chance:


… In the previous parts I have repeatedly wrote that LPR war evolved quite differently than in the DPR: Lugansk Republic was originally much smaller than Donetsk and had no serious support in the northern areas, which even in “That” Civil war were the stronghold of anarchists and nationalists, who were the guerrillas until 1931. And that’s where on June 14, 2014, when things of militias in general were good and the Strelkov firmly sat in Slavyansk, Ukrainian army occupied Lugansk satellite town of Schastie on the other bank of the Seversky Donets and tried to break through to Lugansk. From July 3 regular attacks to LNRovskoy capital began, in the 20 days of July, the APU took Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, and went to Lugansk to the south-west and on the south-east continued to hold periodically blocked by militias airport. Lugansk, in contrast with Donetsk, had a giant suburban system, the location of the center on the side that faces just towards Schastie, allowed to shoot the city like in the dash, and generally in August Ukrainian military virtually surrounded Lugansk. Then there was really scary – artillery and aircraft systematically destroyed the infrastructure of the city from the substations to the bread-baking plant, from early August and mid-September water and electricity lost in Lugansk, and in residential areas shells and mines fell daily and killed in the city hundreds of people.


Again, I will refer to memories Luhansk people (one, two, three), which are referred to more than once – they are very much piercing, and some of people who experienced it can be even met in the comments. The ring then practically isolated, the last battles were fought in the Chryachevatiy on the eastern outskirt of the city, and then I did not doubt that LDNR days are numbered. But then something changed in the course of the war, the Ukrainian army began suddenly to suffer defeat after defeat, and I think that we even resemble what the reason for this seems to be the most common… although do we understand a lot in war? Siege of Lugansk was removed by September 1, Ukrainian military retreated from the city for a few tens of kilometers, so the capital of LPR dropped out of “front-line” cities, another two weeks were spent on the rehabilitation of infrastructure, but to this day Lugansk is surrounded by gloomy ruins belt from all sides.


From Sharp Graves we went to Lugansk airport – as already mentioned, in contrast to the far more famous Donetsk airport (where I also went and stood there under the gun), it remained in the rear deeper than the town itself, and is protected right now only from looters, and even that without the slightest success. From Sharp Graves to it there is dozens of kilometers along the road leading to the village Peremozhnoe, cornering – a pointer on the photo above.


Founded in 1946, the Luhansk airport was no match Donetsk – in the beginning of 2014 it was owned by “UTair”, depart from here only two regular flights a day – to Kiev and Moscow, plus charters to resorts; “Lugansk Airlines” went bankrupt in the early 2000s. But as the Donetsk airport, Lugansk was renovated for Euro 2012 as a backup.


Ukrainian military defended here since the beginning of the war until the end of the summer campaign, much of June and half of July airport garrison held in the blockade, and on June 14 here was shot down an Il-76 transport aircraft by militias which was carrying 49 people – it was the largest loss Ukrainian army at that time of the, Kiev people nearly crushed the Russian embassy but the Foreign Secretary Deshitsa managed to turn a farce, singing along a known song “la-la-la-la” with the thugs, for what he was soon dismissed. But I remember how in the Greek-Catholic Church of Tallinn, near were lying plates “Odessa. May 2″ and “Lugansk. June 14″ but in further tragedies all people have lost the account. Ukrainians left the airport on September 1 and militia have seen the terminal like this:



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