The bodies of Russian soldiers lay scattered throughout recaptured villages as the battle for eastern Ukraine is intensifying and Kyiv’s forces try to advance into the Luhansk region.
Thousands of Russian soldiers have retreated from the front-line area in recent days, leaving behind major destruction. Bomb craters, burned-out vehicles and corpses are strewn along roads leading towards the eastern front.
After the Russian retreat from the village of Torske in the Donetsk region, Russian military uniforms were seen hanging in abandoned homes that soldiers had commandeered.
Russian soldiers had been dug in at positions in Torske just a few days ago, but they’ve now been replaced by Ukrainian troops patrolling the streets.
“It’s been terrible. There’s been no life. Our neighbours left and the Russian soldiers took over their houses,” Antonina, a pensioner in Torske, told Al Jazeera. “But when they left, they were running and panicking on the street.”
Dima, a farmer, described the quick turn of events as Russian forces fled his town.
“We were sitting in our basement for three to four days just surviving,” Dima said. “There was so much shelling, and then they fled into the forests.”