After two weeks of shelling, the situation in the Ukrainian-controlled town of Debaltseve has become extremely dire. For 10 days, the civilians in the town have been without water, gas, or electricity in freezing temperatures. The hardship — coupled with the constant shelling — has forced thousands of residents to flee.
On Saturday, the forces of the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic took control of the town of Vuhlehirsk, around 10 kilometers east of Debaltseve, giving the separatists a chance to block the only road leading north to Artemivsk, the nearest point of safety.
In this dispatch, VICE News travels to Debaltseve to meet civilians hoping to evacuate the war-ravaged town and others who have been forced to stay. We also visit a hospital in Artemivsk to see how the staff is coping with the influx of wounded civilians and soldiers.