A tale of 2 cities

Paul Fiolkowski
5 min readNov 19, 2023

You see, the Russians have been pushing the narrative that Ukraine has been relentlessly shelling cities in the Donbas for the last 8 years, leading to 14,000 deaths. Well, I have already debunked that number in a previous post . So let's talk about 2 cities in Ukraine. One has been under Russian control since 2014, while the other, basically 20km away, remained a Ukrainian city.

We're talking about Donetsk and Adiivka. Let's present some pictorial evidence of the current status in each city.

Look at the photos of 2 towns.
Both of them are in Donetsk region.
Like I said, a mere 20 km from each other.

Donetsk is occupied by Russia for 9 years. Russians claim that it was “shelled for 8 years”.

For 9.5 years Ukraine was able to shell Donetsk. It’s within the range of a regular multiple launch rocket system or even a howitzer (the range of a 152mm artillery is 25km, but the French Caesar is up to 42km) .

This is how Donetsk looks today — not only after “8 years of shelling” (as Russia claims), but also after 20 months of the full-scale war.

Yes! That’s how the Russia-occupied city “under constant shelling by Ukraine” looks like after 9.5 years of conflict.

And this is the town of Avdiivka, 20 km away. For 9.5 years, it’s controlled by Ukraine — and being shelled by Russia. More in the last 20 months.

Russia can shell Avdiivka — and it does.

Russia now decided to take Avdiivka — no matter the cost. And it’s now turning it into ruins. That’s the only way how Russia can “take” cities. By razing them to the ground.

Russia lies about “attacks on peaceful Donbas”. It’s Russia that attacks peaceful Donbas cities. (Avdiivka, controlled by Ukraine, is also Donbas.)

In 2014, Russia came, brought troops with tanks and guns, and told people to “vote in referendum” (at gunpoint), whether they want to be “independent”. Those who were against Russia, were taken to torture chambers.

But Russia didn’t even control the whole of Donbas! Ukraine controlled a large part of Donbas.

It’s like a killer with a gun came to your home, took your wife and one of the kids hostages, kept them in the living room, and told them to vote whether they want to stay with him. And then, after they voted “yes” (at gunpoint), told you to leave, because they want to be with him, and demanded that you transfer your home into his name. And when you refused, he killed your dog and raped your wife, and started to shoot at you, yelling, “You must do it now! Or it will be worse!”

That’s what’s happening in Ukraine with Russia occupying Donbas.

And that’s why Ukraine doesn’t want to leave its citizens in the hands of Russia.

Ukraine know what Russia brings: Death, rape, destruction, serfdom. That is Russkiy Mir. And any sane country wants nothing to do with Russkiy Mir.



Paul Fiolkowski

I am just another American expat, who found that yes indeed, the grass can be greener elsewhere.