We first visited Balaklyia in September 2022, 2 days after it had been liberated from Russian occupation. At that time, there were still destroyed vehicles in the streets, bodies of dead Russian soldiers by the side of the road, and severe food shortages.
Fast forward to December 2023, and some of the damage had been repaired, but times are still pretty hard for many people there. Many businesses were destroyed, so unemployment is high. A great example of the result of the Russian occupation is the once-thriving machines shop in some of the photos below. What a shame to see all this equipment destroyed, just sitting there exposed to the elements.