When the plant lost electricity, electricians cross the front line, risking their own lives

To the Director of transport Avdiivka coke plant Ruslan Kolesov in the evenings, hear the sounds of war in the East of Ukraine.

The war is heard well, because the house Kolesova is just a mile from the industrial zone of the Town, which has long been one of the main objects of the war in the East of Ukraine.

At night he often sees flashes. Then it starts to count down the time until explosion sounds.

“I’m pretty well unable to determine where the shell hit. I can tell you whether there has been an explosion in the territory where we are obliged to carry out repair work,” he says.

It is especially interested. Kolisov among those people, who in turn has to go for review power wires to the territory between the front lines.

The task is important. Big Avdiivka coke and the whole town get electricity at four power lines that pass over the front. Avdeevka, which is under the control of the government of Ukraine gets electricity — at least yet — from Yasinovataya and Makeevka, which are under the control of rebels, strongly supported by Russia.

The task is life-threatening. Often shooting began, even despite the fact that all were aware of the presence between the front lines of the group, leading the inspection and repair. On site commonly found mines. Many electricians were killed.

At the front line using heavy weapons. Russia supports the rebels, including weapons. Avdiivka fired not only by artillery fire and grenades, but also rockets of system “Grad”.

The war in the East of Ukraine began in late spring 2014. Since power lines often get damaged.

“We went there already about 200 times,” says Kolisov.

First did: coke plant asked the Ukrainian army not to shoot, and on the other side of the front to a cease-fire, requested the energy company DTEK. Both companies are owned by the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.

However, the message did not reach, for example, to the far artillery.

Last year the rules were tightened because the old way of doing was too dangerous. Now both sides are requesting a document on a temporary ceasefire and also need confirmation from the General command center that monitors compliance with the temporary ceasefire. It includes Ukrainian and Russian officers.

“Despite this, the work still cannot be called safe. We fired this year”.

Long time to power lines drove a black Hyundai Sonata car. It has made more than 150 trips, although off-road machine is not designed and rather cramped.

“It was called the happy car, nor another did not want to go. I also call it happy car, even though he knew that was helped by the fact that everybody remembered the car and knew who and what matters it goes.”

Now visits are carried out on the UAZ minivan. It has already proven itself less reliable than the Hyundai. Once, for example, he could not be got, when the bombardment began, and Kolisov examined the damaged power lines.

“The Russian machine. It was a very tense situation. The driver, fortunately, was professional and, in the end, could have”.

Now travel vests are used.

“They have started to use this year, to wear under jackets. Top wear in the form of the enterprise, which clearly shows the logo. On her head was a white plastic helmet”.

He Kolisov for a long time belonged to the armor with distrust. In the area between the front lines need to look like a civilian and vests can arouse suspicion.

Kolisov will continue to repair power lines, although these trips are always dangerous.

If power line is not repaired, the city and the plant will remain without electricity. Coke is one of the largest in Europe.

“Residents of the Town know that the city exists only because of the plant. If it closes, there will be nothing left”.

Then he begins to laugh.

“I volunteered to participate in this, because I’m a local and as fond of motocross, I know all the trails, paths and roads,” he says.

“I’m the Director of transportation. Initially knew nothing about power lines, but now the whole learned.”

The delineation of power grids

State power company “Ukrenergo” has ceased to supply electricity to Luhansk, which is controlled by rebels supported by Russia. According to the company, electricity was not paid for three years.

Since then, Lugansk receives electricity from Russia or from the so-called Donetsk people’s Republic.

“Ukrenergo” is planning to stop the supply of Donetsk, but would not do it until Avdiivka uses the mains under the control of Ukraine.