City in north-east Ukraine is a rubble-strewn shadow of the place it once was, but its mayor is unbowed
Pavlo Kuzmenko, a surgeon by profession and the mayor of Okhtyrka by appointment, offered a rough tally as he drove through the streets of his city, passing one ruined house after another. Not that long ago potholes were among his biggest headaches.
“Six people were killed here,” he said. “Three people there.” He preferred not to offer an overall death toll so as “not to frighten the citizens”. That number could be told “after the victory”, he said.