Ukraine bakery supplies bread for the front lines

Seemingly deserted throughout the day, the broken manufacturing facility constructing in japanese Ukraine involves life at evening, when the odor of recent bread emanates from its damaged home windows.
Buy Now | Our finest subscription plan now has a particular worth
It’s certainly one of two large-scale bakeries left in operation in the Ukrainian-held a part of the Donetsk area, most of which is below Russian occupation. The others needed to shut as a result of they have been broken by preventing or as a result of their electrical energy and fuel have been reduce.
A resident waits in the background to purchase bread as shopkeepers obtain their each day supply from Serhii Holoborodko, left, in Scherbynivka, Donetsk area, japanese Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
The bakery in Kostiantynivka adjusted its working hours in response to the rhythm of the battle.
Employees at the manufacturing facility come to work at 7 p.m. to begin kneading the dough. By daybreak, truck drivers arrive to select up recent loaves of bread for supply to cities and villages the place the grocery shops are usually open solely in the morning, when, on most days, there’s a lull in Russian shelling.
“We bake extra bread at evening so we are able to distribute it to shops in the morning,” bakery director Oleksandr Milov says.
The manufacturing facility bakes about seven tons of bread each day, or about 17,500 loaves. Half of it goes to the Ukrainian army.
Olha Zhovtonozhyk, a lady in her 30s, picks up the spherical loaves from the conveyor belt and shortly places them into baking types. She takes her job very severely.
“The Ukrainian armed forces are our heroes now, however our job can also be essential for the lifetime of our nation, in martial occasions,” Zhovtonozhyk says.
Svitlana Labutcheva, cuts labels by hand for packaging loaves of bread at a bakery in Kostiantynivka, Donetsk area, japanese Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Another worker, Olena Nahorna, 48, agrees.
“We will not be afraid. We bake bread, as a result of the individuals, our army, our defenders, want bread,” Nahorna says with a smile, shifting the dough to the oven.
Another plant in Druzhkivka continues to be operational, producing rolls, loaves and cookies.
But the bakeries in Kostiantynivka and Druzhkivka don’t make sufficient bread for the estimated 300,000 individuals who stay in the Ukrainian-controlled a part of the Donetsk area. In the south of the area, entrepreneurs herald bread from the neighboring Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia areas, and a few supermarkets have small bakeries.
The Kostiantynivka bakery has remained open regardless of many challenges. In April it misplaced its fuel provide, however the ovens have been reconfigured to run on coal — a system which hadn’t been used at this plant since World War II. The coal-fired boiler is operated by three males.

“It’s such a colossal job; the guys work 12 hours a day,” Milov says.
Milov tried six sorts of coal earlier than he discovered the proper kind with a excessive warmth output. One benefit with the coal system is that the plant received’t want further heating in winter. There might be no central heating in the area this winter due to the lack of fuel.
The bakery confronted its subsequent drawback in June, when Russia occupied the city of Lyman in the north of the area the place the mill that equipped flour to the Kostiantynivka bakery was situated. Milov had to purchase flour from a provider in the Zaporizhzhia area, which is 150 kilometers (about 90 miles) from Kostiantynivka.
The added transportation prices elevated the worth of bread. So has the inflation price, which is about 20% in Ukraine.
“People’s revenue has decreased, and individuals are simply shopping for cheaper merchandise at the second,” Milov says. His bakers have even needed to change the recipe of their bread to maintain the worth reasonably priced so long as doable.
Another concern is a scarcity of grain. In 2021, the harvest in Ukraine exceeded 100 million tons of grain. The new harvest, in response to preliminary estimates of the Ministry of Agriculture Policy, is 65-67 million tons. Since Russia has attacked not solely fields, however grain storages as properly, some farmers are exporting grain for storage overseas.
The bakery in Kostiantynivka has 20 drivers ship bread each day, not solely to cities, but in addition to half-empty front-line villages.
One of them, Vasyl Moiseienko, a retiree, arrives in his automobile at the manufacturing facility at 6 a.m. and fills it up with nonetheless sizzling loaves. He reveals the crack in the windshield {that a} piece of shrapnel left just a few weeks in the past throughout a bread supply run.
Serhii Holoborodko delivers bread to a store in Pleshchiivka, Donetsk area, japanese Ukraine, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.(AP Photo/David Goldman)
“Who else will go? I’m previous, so I may drive,” Moiseienko stated.
He drives alongside dangerous roads to the village of Dyliivka, 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the line of contact. The driver shortly unloads the bread and drives on to a different city on the front line.
About 100 individuals dwell in Dyliivka, however the village seems empty. Every 10 to fifteen minutes the sounds of artillery might be heard. It’s laborious to discover a cellphone connection in the space, however the information community features. The saleswoman of the native retailer writes in the village’s Viber chat that bread has been introduced. And inside quarter-hour, the retailer fills up with individuals.
Liubov Lytvynova, 76, takes a number of loaves of bread. She says she dries a few of it to make breadcrumbs which she retains in her cellar. She places one loaf in the freezer to maintain it longer.
“We solely dwell in worry. And in the event that they don’t ship bread, what is going to we do?” Lytvynova stated.
 For extra way of life information, observe us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the newest updates!

Recommended For You