Orienting yourself in contemporary Ukraine is not easy politically, militarily, or even geographically. Ukrainians painted road signs to confuse the Russian enemy. And you can’t completely rely on the internet or proven GPS navigators either.




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We are approaching the first big city liberated from Balakilija. We cross the former war line along roads full of holes and potholes. Here there is a completely destroyed settlement or town. Not a single house remained together.


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It was only possible to drive from here a few days ago. There are signs that you cannot move forward. Burnt trees, broken tree trunks, and destroyed military equipment line the road. The difficulty of navigating through these areas is that there are bridges that have been blown up, which neither you nor Google Maps know beforehand.

The locals stopped us in front of a bridge on the outskirts of Balaklija and told us we could not go further. We have to go back to the nearest village and go around it and hope there is a bridge.

At one of the intersections between the cities of Balkalia and Izgom The Russians had a foothold in them. There are trenches and bunkers in the forest. Military food cans of the Russian army lying on the ground. Everywhere, Ukrainian fireworks technicians are already working to clear mines from the entire region.

We discouraged the locals from this bridge. But people cross it on scooters and motorbikes on foot and on bicycles. It cannot be driven by car. | Photo: Martin Dorazin | Source: Czech Radio

Finally, after all the twists and turns, we’re in town. However, on the way back, two unpleasant surprises await us in the form of booby-trapped bridges and a wander through Ukraine at night with a shortage of gas in the tank during curfew.

Martin Dorazin

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#Photo #road #city #Balaklia #Kharkiv #region #Google #Maps #wont #reporter