Efforts to rebuild the former rebel stronghold of Slovyansk have begun.
Militants, who seized the town three months ago, were driven away last weekend when government forces laid siege to the insurgents.
Many residents, who fled the fighting, have returned to their homes and business. Many lie in ruins.
“Supposedly the president came and he promised to help us with money for reconstruction,” said Galina Bogdanova, owner of a destroyed cafe.
“So that gives us hope that they will help with the renovation. Because here I have lost my business and my home,” she added.
Yevgenia Gubareva, whose parents died in an attack on their house explained that they had no time to flee: “The shooting started suddenly in the morning. The people had just woken up. And they just shot at the house….”
“I’m not from this town. I will go home. I have buried my parents already.” said Gubareva, fighting back tears.
Boosted by the success in defeating the rebels in Slovyansk, Ukrainian officials say they have a plan ready to crush the rebels in Donetsk, although the president has ruled out air strikes because of the risk to the large civilian population.