Donetsk, Dec 25 – DAN. The reconstruction of damaged houses and infrastructure in Debaltsevo could take up to five years, the local administration said.

"At the present rate, the full reconstruction of residential and public buildings damaged in the military action will take five years," the mayor's office said.

According to the latest data, 241 multi-apartment houses are damaged in Debaltsevo, some of them beyond repair; 124 buildings need to be repaired, 76 are included in state reconstruction programs. The damage varies from shrapnel marks on facades and windows to collapsed walls and critical elements, some houses lack upper floors and staircases.

A number of residents still live in partially collapsed houses. At Putevaya street 9, half of the house is missing, but people stay in the remaining part. At Kosmonavtov 7, one room is badly damaged and isolated, but people live in the adjoining one.

The private sector remains most affected, as 4,536 houses have sustained damage, 690 still need to be restores, of those 290 have been completely destroyed during the war.

Nearly 50 public buildings were affected, most of them have been repaired: seven out of eight schools and kindergartens are functioning.

"90% of the public buildings have been restores, the town court is still to be repaired," the report reads. Currently the court is based in Gorlovka.

Debaltsevo, 55 km north-east of Donetsk, was controlled by Kiev forces since the beginning of the war until February 18, 2015 when it was liberated in a joint operation of the DPR and LPR People's Militias. As the enemy retreated, it blew up critical communications, including a major railroad hub. The town was 80% ruined at the time. *ot