Kramatorsk is an empty city, located next to the front lines, in the northern part of the Donetsk oblast (region). It is a target for Russia, since it is the temporary administrative center of the region. Thus, residents were called upon to evacuate for their own safety.
The pre-war population of the city was around 150,000. When I stood in the city center over a week ago, only 1/5 of the population was still there.
On April 12, 2014, the Kramatorsk police station was seized by pro-Russian rebels wearing military uniforms, and later the city council, resulting in a standoff between the Ukrainian Armed Forces and pro-Russian militants.
On April 8, 2022, Kramatorsk railway station was hit by Russian Tochka-U missiles, killing at least 57 people.
Two weeks ago, we brought a much needed ambulance purchased by my friend James Spenceley and his Australian donors, and food supplies donated by a Polish foundation, to Ukraine’s lead tactical medic there.
As a token of appreciation for making the journey all the way there, he gave me his knife.
Glory to the heroes.