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05 Jul. 2023

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The Day of Liberation of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk: how it happened and how the cities live today

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The Day of Liberation of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk: how it happened and how the cities live today

On July 5, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Liberation of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk from russian militants. Find out how the events unfolded in 2014 and what is happening in the liberated cities today

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Today is the ninth anniversary of the liberation of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk from russian occupants. On this day in 2014, the Ukrainian military drove out the DPR militants and separatists from the cities and raised Ukrainian flags. 

This day was officially celebrated in 2016.


Timeline of events


On April 12, 2014, the separatists seized these cities, and they became the first settlements in Ukraine to be seized by force. Separatists and russian militants entered the building of the Sloviansk city department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the local SBU department. On that day, DPR militants already controlled all exits from the cities. In Kramatorsk, they stormed the police station and seized it.

The next day, acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov announced the start of the anti-terrorist operation, and the fighting for the cities began.


During the occupation, the cities suffered from terror and abuse. Ukrainian-speaking citizens were taken prisoner and tortured. russians shelled civilian buildings and organized provocations to turn the local population against the Ukrainian government. Also at that time, shops were emptied and looting began.


An active effort to liberate the cities began in the summer. In early July, ATO forces destroyed several terrorist strongholds near Sloviansk. On July 4, they began to control the town of Mykolayivka near Sloviansk. On July 5, Ukrainian troops entered Sloviansk, where they planted a Ukrainian flag over the city administration and began distributing humanitarian aid to local residents.


After the defeat in Sloviansk, russian militants got scared and left Kramatorsk. So Ukrainian defenders entered the city almost without a fight. In addition to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, several other towns in Donetsk region were liberated in July 2014, including Kostyantynivka, Druzhkivka and Bakhmut. After the liberation, Kramatorsk became the administrative center of Donetsk region, as Donetsk is still under occupation.


We would like to add that in the battles for Sloviansk our country lost 70 defenders, but destroyed 470 terrorists. As a result of fighting for the city, 34 buildings and structures, including 4 schools, were damaged. The damage amounted to UAH 1.5 billion. 




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Kramatorsk and Sloviansk today


Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk have been suffering from shelling. 

Residents of Sloviansk began to be evacuated to safer regions in March 2022. Now the city is periodically shelled. Among the worst tragedies:

● Shelling with cluster munitions on the night of April 21-22, 2022;

● An Iskander missile attack on the night of May 31, 2022. The shelling damaged seven high-rise buildings and a school. According to available information, three people were killed; 

● an attack with two S300 missiles on the city center on March 27, 2023. The strike killed two people and damaged several administrative, office and residential buildings.


Kramatorsk suffered no less than the neighboring city. During the months of war, russians have committed many terrorist acts that have shocked the world. One of the many was the horrific attack on the railway station on April 8, 2022. According to local authorities, more than 2,000 people were at the station at the time of the attack.

The rocket attack killed more than 50 people, five of them children. More than 100 people were seriously injured. 


Strike on Kramatorsk on June 27


In late June, russia attacked the center of Kramatorsk and killed 13 people, including 4 children. A rocket hit a pizzeria with many residents and visitors, including foreign journalists. The enemy deliberately hit a crowded place, because immediately after the hit, the russian media claimed that they had attacked a center of Ukrainian military and foreign instructors. 

According to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin, russia used an Iskander-M missile for the attack. We would like to add that the SBU immediately identified and detained an agent of the russian special services who had coordinated the attack. 

It should be noted that on June 27, 2022, russia hit the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchuk with the same missile. The attack killed 25 people.


Despite the terrible realities of today, Ukrainians believe in the inevitability of victory, the return of the occupied territories and the titans of the Armed Forces! They also cherish the memory of every person who has fallen victim to russia's horrific aggression.


We remind you that the return of the territories occupied by russia is not only the goal of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, but also the sincere desire of every Ukrainian. We talked about the problems that Ukraine will face after the de-occupation of Crimea and Donbas and how to solve them in our previous article.


Photo: Getty Images




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