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    HomeWorldOn Ukraine Front, Civilians Cling On as Troops Repel Russia

    On Ukraine Front, Civilians Cling On as Troops Repel Russia

    On Ukraine Front, Civilians Cling On as Troops Repel Russia

    VUHLEDAR, — The murky water oh so slowly trickles from the filthy drainpipe into her grimy container — the ticking seconds ramping up the risk that Emilia Budskaya could lose life or limb to Russian artillery strikes torturing her front-line town in eastern Ukraine.

    Gaping gashes from shrapnel in the courtyard walls around her testify to the dangers of venturing outside — exposed and without the body armor that Ukrainian soldiers defending Vuhledar wear when they emerge from their bunkers.

    But Budskaya and her daughter need water to cling on and survive, to eke out another day in the ruins.

    And so they wait — tick, tick, tick — for the container to fill, for Budskaya to then pour the water into plastic bottles and — tick, tick, tick — for her to then the process again until their bottles are filled.

    Picking their way through the debris and mud, they carry their bounty back to the dark basement that now passes for their home.

    “We have no water, nothing,” Budskaya says. “I'm getting rain water to wash dishes and hands.”

    On the largely static front line between Ukrainian and Russian forces that stretches over hundreds of kilometers (miles), from the Black Sea in the south to Ukraine's northeastern border with , Vuhledar has become one of the deadliest hot spots.

    It has joined Bakhmut, Marinka and other cities and towns, particularly in fiercely contested eastern Ukraine, as…

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