The majority of Dokuchaievsk residents confess the life in united Ukraine was way better
Ukraine's army has almost created a "kettle" where Russian proxies can lose control over the whole city of Dokuchaievsk.
Soldiers of the 30th brigade have recently destroyed two artillery systems and a new Russian radar locator there.
The city of Dokuchaievsk does not resemble any other city across the Donbas heath. It is surrounded by high spoil tips like a mountain chain. When militants tried to seize them, they were highly surprised the tips were controlled by Ukraine's ATO forces. On all three sides, the city is under fire control of 30th brigade of Ukraine's Armed Forces - a hop skip and a jump away from a full encirclement.
"Skala", an officer of 30th brigade: If requested, we have that opportunity.
If the command was announced, militants would be encircled and within two hours Dokuchaievsk would be Ukrainian.
The Ukrainian positions are located at the tips around the city and the front avoids it crescent. The only hill controlled by the enemy is called "Mordor".
-Because they are orcs.
Ukrainian soldiers know well what the sentiments are that dwell around the city. Though, locals are not ready to raise a Ukrainian flag, the number of dissatisfied civilians with the self-proclaimed "republic" is reaching critical levels.
Valeriy Lubinets, head of Volnovakha regional council: Under the Minsk deal, our territory, our city. All ask why it still hasn't been freed. Locals want it to be liberated as soon as possible.
At the checkpoint near Dokuchaievsk, people wait in lines for hours to leave the occupied territory for pensions and goods.
-There is no work and prices are 5-6 times higher than in Ukraine.
-Is it possible?
-Come to see yourself.
It seems they voted not for such a future at the separatist referendum.
-Do you want to become reunited with Ukraine?
-Probably, 90 percent of people want it.
If people sincerely express these ideas, then hopelessness takes over their fear.
However, the task to return the city to Ukraine is not that easy. After losing their popularity among locals, militants are beefing up their military units in Dokuchaievsk. There, one can easily see soldiers bearing Russian insignias.
Ukrainian soldiers say that reunification must happen peacefully without a need to create an "encirclement" around Dokuchaievsk.