To News and Stories
In wartime Stories

How does the frontline city of Lysychansk live?

In 2014, when Russia launched a war against Ukraine, Lysychansk was under the control of the Russian troops for two months until the Ukrainian military liberated it. The frontline was close, but the city took its chance to revive, implementing new projects, forming new NGOs, and organising cultural events in the following years.

New battles for Lysychansk began in the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Ukrainian army held the city for more than four months, however, on July 3, 2022, the Russians captured Lysychansk, and the city remains occupied.

A local resident walks with a bicycle past a destroyed police department building in Lysychansk.
Photo: Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters

60% of the infrastructure, including residential buildings, had been and remains destroyed. The occupation has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of people displaced from their homes and limited access to basic necessities of those who stayed.

The Russian occupation authorities currently use Lysychansk mainly as a base for their soldiers and do not care about the civilians who remain there.

There is neither electricity nor water supply in the city. There is also a problem with medical care. At the same time, many older people who need access to qualified medical care are staying in Lysychansk.

Tons of garbage are scattered in the neighbourhoods, which have not been removed from most districts since the city was invaded by Russia. Also, a sewerage system does not work here and rats overspread the city.

In September 2023, the Russian occupation authorities held so-called elections in Lysychansk and other neighbouring temporarily occupied Ukrainian cities. These pseudo-votings legally mean absolutely nothing. They just show how Russia has no intention of following international law and respecting the borders of Ukraine.

Each and every person engaged in organising these so-called elections will be held accountable.

A view of the destroyed bridge linking Sievierodonetsk with Lysychansk.
All three bridges linking the two cities across the Siverskyi Donets River suffered destruction.
Photo: Alexander Ermochenko / Reuters

Lysychansk is Ukraine. And Ukrainian defenders are fighting to liberate the city, every temporarily occupied settlement, every inch of Ukrainian land, and all our people.

“A proud-spirited city. It will remain like that. The city that knows how to work hard and is rightfully proud of its results,” said President Zelenskyy, congratulating Lysychansk on its City Day on September 2.