Russian forces strike Sloviansk in eastern Donetsk

The pounding of explosions was heard in Sloviansk on Monday, where several buildings were hit by Russian shells throughout the day.

Some of the city’s few remaining residents gathered in the basement of a building near downtown.

Evgeniy and his wife, who went to see if their daughter’s apartment was damaged, waited in the basement as artillery shells rained down overhead.

“If it (the shelling) is far away, you don’t really hear it, but today it’s serious,” Evgeniy said.

Sloviansk resident Tetyana joined Evgeniy and his wife in the shelter, shivering and trying to control her breathing after running for cover.

“I was running, I was praying to God, I was shaking,” she said.

Firefighters rushed to put out a blaze in a nearby building as residents cleared debris from damaged apartments.

Russian and separatist forces attempt to take control of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, shelling them almost daily.

Authorities have urged residents to leave the area, but Tetyana, Evgeniy and others say fleeing is not an option for them.

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Christi C. Elwood