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The Press in Ukraine | The lost battle of the Russians

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(Voznesensk) Residents of the city of Voznesensk first heard the terrifying sound of Russian battle tanks.

They rushed to the shelters. Hiding in their basements, they waited as war ignited the streets of their city.

It happened on March 2 and 3. The battle was fierce. The Russian army used all its might to take Voznessensk.

But the Ukrainian soldiers fought back with force. They forced Russian soldiers to seek refuge in houses, which they used as shields against Ukrainian artillery.

  • At the height of the battle, the Ukrainians decided to destroy the bridge that allowed Russian troops to enter the city.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    At the height of the battle, the Ukrainians decided to destroy the bridge that allowed Russian troops to enter the city.

  • Markov Serjeii Anotolievi heard the tank column coming from his company.  The ground shook, and the noise was terrifying.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    Markov Serjeii Anotolievi heard the tank column coming from his company. The ground shook, and the noise was terrifying.

  • A Ukrainian defense position at the entrance to the city.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    A Ukrainian defense position at the entrance to the city.

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Still holed up in their basements, terrified residents heard the sound of Russian boots upstairs.

Vladimir Putin’s army has hit a wall. With Molotov cocktails, artillery and courage, the Ukrainian forces managed to repel the invader.

The coup de grace took place at the entrance to the city bridge. Caught in a funnel, the Russian troops suffered heavy losses.

Then, the Ukrainians destroyed the bridge to block the passage of the enemy.

  • The wreckage of a Russian helicopter shot down by the Ukrainians.  According to authorities, a Javelin missile supplied by the United States was used.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The wreckage of a Russian helicopter shot down by the Ukrainians. According to authorities, a Javelin missile supplied by the United States was used.

  • A family found mines and shells left behind by the Russians in their garden.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    A family found mines and shells left behind by the Russians in their garden.

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On the second day of the fighting, in complete rout, the Russian troops entrenched themselves towards their rear positions.

The Battle of Voznessensk was over. Since then, the city has held firm. It blocks the route of Russian troops to Odessa, this important port city still under Ukrainian control.

Death toll: a dozen civilians and several dozen Ukrainian soldiers. On the Russian side, the losses amount to a hundred soldiers.

  • A rocket used by combat helicopters planted in a field without having exploded

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    A rocket used by combat helicopters planted in a field without having exploded

  • The bag of a Russian officer visible near the carcass of an assault tank

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    The bag of a Russian officer visible near the carcass of an assault tank

  • A partially burnt body armor worn by the Russian military

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    A partially burnt body armor worn by the Russian military

  • A gas mask and a box of rations from Vladimir Putin's army soldiers

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    A gas mask and a box of rations from Vladimir Putin’s army soldiers

  • A military coat recalls Russian losses.

    PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

    A military coat recalls Russian losses.

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Two weeks later, the traces of this violent battle are still visible.

Battle tanks pulverized. Carcass of a downed helicopter. Mines and shells left behind. Bullet holes on the facades of houses.

And the fear of seeing the Russians come back.


PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

The mayor of Voznessensk, Evgenily Velichko, leads the efforts of citizens and volunteers to defend his city from the invader.

The morning of the passage from The Press, on March 18, the tension was palpable. Fresh artillery fire had fallen near the town.

The mayor, Evgenily Velichko, had been talking nervously about the military movements since the morning. He was not very comfortable seeing journalists revealing Ukrainian positions.

Wars are won one battle at a time.

With Isabelle Hachey, The Press

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