In east Ukraine, farmers won't leave their animals

STORY: Here in Yampil, a frontline village in east Ukraine recaptured by Ukrainian forces at the end of September after months under Russian occupation, buildings lie in ruins.

Most people have left.

But not farmers Yevhennia and Ivan, who say they could not bear to abandon their rabbits, ducks, chickens and pigeons.

Ivan: "We've always kept rabbits. But when the missiles started falling down, in the morning I saw 15 of them on the ground, blood coming from their noses. It's the stress toll."

Ukrainian authorities have come with leaflets urging remaining residents to leave.

Yevhennia says she and Ivan aren't going anywhere.

"We have been working with poultry since we were children. Since we lived with mother and went to school. We grew poultry since childhood. This love grew with us up until our older years. This is what we do, and we can't live without our chickens, our rabbits. So we try to do as much as we can physically manage

Nearby in the village, a blasted stable strewn with animal bones is a monument to the dark fate of some animals in a war zone.

Private owners had collected a menagerie of exotic and wild animals there.

Residents say the animals died, ran away or were killed during the months of Russian occupation.