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PHOTOS: Bread delivery in Ukraine’s war-torn Donbass | Russia-Ukraine war news

With three large bags tucked under the handlebars of his red-and-white moped, Oleksandr dashed across the winding paths of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine, delivering bread to the remaining locals.

Almost daily, Russian strikes hit the town of Siversk, about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the front line, which has barely moved since last summer.

Oleksandr has just collected bread at the Humanitarian Center of the Siversk Town Hall, which receives about 2,500 loaves of bread twice a week from the municipalities of Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka.

“We need to drive fast so nothing can overtake us,” Oleksandr said, referring to the potential shelling.

In the spring sunshine, the 44-year-old drove at full speed until he reached a dirt road lined with small houses and flowering trees.

He starts his day with deliveries from the neighbor across the street from his own house.

Olena Ishakova, 62, emerged from her home in a long blue nightgown with yellow pockets and collar.

“On Tuesday, we eat two pieces of white bread, and on Thursday we eat sweet and brown bread,” Isakova said.

She grabs the bread wrapped in a bag with the World Food Program logo on it.

Isakova’s daughter and granddaughter were evacuated to calmer parts of western Ukraine last February, but she and her husband remained in Siversk.

In July and August, Russian troops launched small, unsuccessful raids on towns they also bombarded.

The eastern part of Siversk with its tall buildings was the most damaged, while the western part with its smaller houses was relatively spared.

“It’s been a year since we switched on the electricity on May 5,” Ishakova said, with the roar of artillery fire in the background.

“We didn’t know who was shooting or where it was coming from. We just heard explosions… I was sitting in the house and the windows were shaking and it was scary, very scary,” she said.

Oleksandr met Valentyna Zaruba, 73, delivering bread in a nearby street.

“I’m in charge of my street and other people are in charge of theirs, and that’s how we work,” Zaruba explained.

Depending on the day, Zaruba delivers the bread on carts or bicycles.

The previous night, shelling had damaged three houses at the end of the street. An 82-year-old man was injured.

Zaruba rode his bicycle to see Lyubov Shcherbak, surrounded by a dozen chatty hens and four roosters.

“How do we live without bread? “We have no place in Siversk to bake it,” she said.

“I don’t know what to think anymore. I hope things get better…I don’t know,” she said, her eyes lost on the horizon.

Zarubah, who was standing next to her, said she “can’t leave an old woman alone. My conscience won’t let me do that.”

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