The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Rural rhythms upended by war on the road to Ukraine's front lines

By Steve Hendrix and Serhii Korolchuk

28 Jun 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

A vivid on-the-ground report from the Washington Post on Ukrainians living in the countryside near the front—those who are choosing to stay though “they are in the path of Russia’s relentless drive.”

NEAR LYSYCHANSK, Ukraine - On the road to the Russian front - just a few miles from Ukraine's desperate battle to slow the enemy's advance - Liudmyla Kulinich walked her bicycle up to the village shop, past the burned-out delivery truck and under the barrels of an antiaircraft gun parked by the door while its crew stocked up on chips and sodas.

"I hope they have bread," she said, taking a shopping bag from her basket. She wore a pink sweater and nothing over her windblown gray hair, and stood a foot shorter than the soldiers in flak vests and helmets around her. Artillery boomed, an army ambulance sped past and a woman down the way watered dusty roses by her front gate.

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