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'Terrified' elderly woman living in fear on Ukraine's frontline

Nella Krachkovska has had a hard life to say the least. Seventy four years spent in the town of Avdiivka are beginning to taken their toll.

In her younger days she worked in the town's massive coking plant, breathing sulphur fumes every day has left her with chronic asthma, she told me.

Her legs aren't what they used to be either, she needs help to hobble from her bedroom to a seat on the sofa next door.

Normally, her condition would be a worry, but here, on the front line of a brutal conflict, it's become a matter of life and death.

Shells have been raining in, in Avdiivka for the past week, when the bombardments start, most of the townsfolk retreat with haste to their basements and their bunkers.

But Nella can't navigate stairs, so she just sits in the dark, terrified, until the explosions stop.

There had been a lull in the fighting over the weekend, but most people here expect it to resume with a fury.

For Nella that means more long, helpless nights spent praying she'll see the next day.

  • Martin Geissler explains the humanitarian situation in Avdiivka: