On September 30, the Luhansk region was engulfed by a devastating fire that broke out in three areas along the demarcation zone and, due to strong gusts of wind, spread with lightning speed. The leading Ukrainian News Channel 5 reported the following: “The occupiers created diversions by setting fires in the parts of the ‘gray zones’ not under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. New pockets of fires were created by Russian shelling using bullets, shells and missiles.”
The fire spread to 13,000 hectares (32,500 acres) and caused widespread damage. Entire villages were burned. The fire destroyed more than 300 houses, and almost 200 people were hospitalized. Sadly, people lost all of their lifetime possessions. Suffering the greatest losses were the villages of Syrotyne, Voronovo and Smolianynove. Unfortunately, the government only partially compensates the people for their losses.
The UUARC bureau in Kyiv received an appeal of assistance from Syrotyne. Fifteen elderly people were left without necessary medicines. A school with over 100 students is without heat and needs a new boiler. People need gas stoves. Many need tools and household equipment such as shovels, rakes, buckets and carts. The villages of Voronovo and Syrotyne are asking for school supplies, such as books, notebooks and “Kobzars” for every classroom. Also needed are children’s winter shoes, bedding and disinfectants.
The director of the UUARC’s Kyiv bureau wrote: “From the depth of my heart, I am asking the generous donors of the UUARC to help those who are continuing to suffer from the devastating fires in the Luhansk region. May God reward you and your families with good health and God’s blessings.”
UUARC urges readers to support the victims of the fires of the Luhansk region by sending checks to: UUARC – “Luhansk Forest Fires”, 1206 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111.