Ukraine-Russia War Live: Missile attack on Lviv targets power substations, dozens killed in Donetsk
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is ‘personal’ for soldiers protecting their families in the Donetsk region
By European correspondent Nick Dole
Ukrainian troops on the front lines of the Russian war do not pretend to know what is going on in the minds of the “enemy”, but if they had to guess, they think the invaders’ hearts are not there.
“The Russians don’t seem to care,” one told the ABC.
Dimas, a Ukrainian soldier leading the ABC to the frontline near Shevchenko in the Donetsk region, says the Russians might have “thought they would be welcome here”.
“But… nobody wants it,” he adds.
Ukrainian soldiers on the front line, however, have everything to fight for.
The nearby town of Zaporizhzhia is preparing for this frontline to soon reach its doorstep.
The residents are determined to keep the city under Ukrainian control and out of Russian hands.
One soldier, Doc, said the battle was “personal” for him. His wife and family live in the area.
“I have a family and a home to protect,” he said.
Soldiers are also fighting to protect loved ones in other parts of southeastern Ukraine.
After Russian troops began their encirclement of Mariupol in early March, many residents were left with few means of escape.
Vorchun, who joined the military just days before Russia invaded Ukraine, said his family still lived near the town.
“They wanted to know who would be ready to protect the homeland, so I volunteered,” he said, as the sounds of Russian artillery grew louder in the distance.
“They are trying to force us out of here. We won’t let them”
Keep hearing soldiers on the front line here.