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Ternopil during the war: update by Anna Ustenko

Mar 15, 2022 | News, Featured

Anna Ustenko for New Pathway – Ukrainian News

Since the war began, the western part of Ukraine has been far less affected by Russia’s attacks than many other regions of the country. The situation had drastically changed two days ago when, within just 35 kilometers from Ukraine's border with Poland, Russian missiles struck the Yavoriv International Peacekeeping and Security Center, where NATO countries since 2015 had been regularly training the Ukrainian military. The attack killed 35 and wounded 134. Prior to this, two other western cities came under attack. On Friday, airfields in Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk were shelled by Russian forces that killed 4 and injured 6.

As airstrikes in Ukraine’s West enhance, Ternopil remains one of the relatively safe regions. But, despite this, the air-raid alarms instructing people to move to the bomb shelters are becoming more frequent. For instance, on March 14, the air-raid sirens in the Ternopil region were on during the entire night.
Already about 40 thousand from the northern, southern, and eastern regions of Ukraine have moved to Ternopil and the neighboring towns. Those displaced who require medical help can receive all the necessary aid, which also includes psychological assistance. About four hundred persons are currently hospitalized, that includes forty pregnant women. All medical institutions are functioning without any critical obstacles.

On Monday, in the Ternopil region, children resumed their studies online, moreover, about 2,500 kids who fled their homes from the most affected areas had joined these classes. Technical equipment is being provided to those who are currently located in places like university campuses, schools, etc. Wi-Fi connection is available in each such facility. Teachers that came to Ternopil from other regions are going to be temporarily employed in the local schools and universities.

The Ternopil region’s administration has emphasised recently that its top priority at the moment is to maintain the region’s economic activities. It is encouraging local factories, cafes, gyms and other facilities to continue operating on a daily basis. Additionally, manufacturers, IT companies and other businesses that relocated from the war-torn territories have the opportunity to temporarily move their activities to the Ternopil region. Here, they will be provided with the needed space to continue with their work. Already about 40 enterprises had appealed to relocate their main offices to the region for the time being.

Newcomers to the Ternopil region as well as the locals keep joining the Territorial Defense Forces, which as of today counts up to 6 thousand, and growing. Presently, the force remains in the region. At the same time, many have volunteered to join the Territorial Defense battalions in Kyiv and other regions that at this moment face Russia’s most violent attacks, to prevent the enemy from making advancements.

The Ternopil region’s infrastructure is operating as usual. The local military administration has imposed a number of regulations such as the curfew as well as banned the selling of alcohol. Those caught drunk driving by the police automatically lose their vehicle for use by the Ukrainian army. So far, there have been several dozen of such cases. Additionally, on Sunday, March 13, in the Volyn oblast, 23 Russian and Belarusian trucks that were carrying food, clothes and electronics were nationalized along with the cargo.

On Tuesday, SpaceX Starlink satellite internet terminals arrived in Ternopil. They will provide high-speed, low-latency broadband internet access to the places where it is currently most needed.

Ternopil continues to send humanitarian help, mostly food, to the areas that suffer from Russia’s invasion the most, including Chernihiv, Mykolayiv, and Kharkiv regions. Ternopil is going to continue providing housing for internally displaced persons that are coming to the region. As of this moment, in Ukraine's West, Ternopil remains one of the key rear bases.

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