Tags / pro-russian
This documentary encapsulates our seven-month long chronicle of the civil war in Ukraine's Donbass region – a silent war that, despite the declaration of two truces and the deafening silence of western media, continues to claim hundreds of victims.
We filmed and lived side by side either with pro-Russian rebels or with soldiers in the Ukrainian army. From Donetsk to Lugansk, passing by Debaltseve and Mariupol, we aimed to report the conflict and its hangover: from the drama of a population broken in two, the suffering of civilians, and the motivations of volunteers on both sides, to the risk of new and bloody catastrophes and the hellholes of illegal coal mines, new source of income for thousands of workers from the Donbass.
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Ukrainian members of the Azov Batallion exchange machine gun fire with pro-Russian separatists on the Shyrokyne front line, near Mariupol in east Ukraine. Despite the recent ceasefire, firefights and shelling resume, amid fears that the fragile ceasefire is on the verge of breaking down. The commander of the battalion says that the situation in Shyrokyne is very unstable, as pro-Russian separatists continue to fire machine guns and mortars towards their positions.
Yellow circles warn drivers of unexploded mortars on the road to Nikishyne.
Victor carries stones across town in his motorcycle to repair his house.
Flowers in a windowsill seem to have survived the devastation left behind in the ongoing conflict.
Everywhere you look in Nikishyne, the same panorama persists: destroyed homes of people struggling to rebuild their lives.
A bullet hole in a steel fence was made from the inside, proof that fighters brought the battle into private homes.
Clothes left over or people of this house came back. Was totally empty when I was there.
People left many personal belongings behind when they were forced to flee the fighting.
An MRO Russian rocket launcher lies abandoned. The writing on the side reads, "Friends will be friends. Call for assault on Kiev."
Dimitri sits in front of his house in Nikishyne.
Tomas Vlach, the emergency coordinator of "People in Need," looks for available materials needed to repair homes.
Dimitri, holds a photo of his house before the conflict destroyed it and most of his posessions.
Tomas lends a helping hand to his neighbour Tatiana, who lost her home in the conflict.
"They dug a trench and used Tatiana's house as a fighting position. What can we do?" Tomas said.
Tomas collects evidence for "People in Need."
Tomas helps Victor to move his old motorcycle out of the yard so he can get more sand for Tatiana's repairs.
On the 5th of April 2014, we visited a drone camp of the Ukrainian army, situated around 2 kilometres from the front line in Pisky. To spot the enemy (pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass), this special unit counts on drones built by volunteers in a secret base in Dnipropetrovsk. This is the first time that the Ukrainian army accepts that a civillian films their drone operations. Even still, access to sensitive areas of their operations was denied for matters of security. Without the drone, it would be almost impossible for the UKR to pinpoint enemy positions. A serious lack of resources has the Ukrainian army relying on volunteers to operate and maintain this technology, including supplying spare parts and repairing the units.
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Video shows a pro-Russian separatist Cossack explosives team detonating an unexploded 220mm Uragan missile in a field near Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on April 11, 2015
On April 6 2015, we visited Krasnogorovka with the help of Pastor Vladimir Ivanov, director of the NGO Good News Church. We saw the evident beginning of a serious humanitarian crisis. Since the conflict in Ukraine has destroyed vital infrastructure, many residents now live in unhealthy conditions, surround by mountains of rubbish, with a deficient water system, no windows or electricity.
Krasnogorovka is a small suburb of the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, still controlled by the Ukrainian army. When the city is calm, the population living on the limits of town must remain aware of the presence of snipers only 800 meters away in the separatist zone. Pastor Ivanov goes to Krasnogorovka to bring food, clothes, and a little candy for the kids living in a city that has been left to itself. We saw elderly people starving from having not eat for several days. I even spoke to a mother of three children who has absolutely no income beside the humanitarian aids that the Pastor and other donors are bringing to the town. The photos of this reportage show the living conditions of a population who have already suffered from a war whose end is difficult to predict, and continue to suffer its consequences.
A woman from the community is making a petition to be sent to the president explaining the situation and that something must be done now.
The elderly are among the most at-risk and feel desperate about situation in Krasnogorovka.
Another consequence of the war. People look into rubbish bins for basic wares like toys for kids, lamps, etc...
it is extremely hard to find a building in good condition in Krasnogorovka. Most of them are in terrible condition like this one, damaged in fighting.
A crater from a mortar shell is a reminder of the recent fighting in Krasnogorovka.
It is still cold in the city, and many buildings no longer have windows to help keep in the heat.
Rubbish strewn about the streets leaves an awful odor in the air, and poses the risk of spreading disease if nothing is done before the arrival of summer.
A man still live in his nearly-demolished building.
As the city dump is an open field, the wind constantly carries plastic bags into tree branches. The area could face an environmental catastrophe in a near future.
The city dump in Krasnogorovka is all but abandoned, with only small amount of employees coming occasionally to burn rubbish.
Workers from the city dump refuse to be interviewed.
As we were heading for Krasnogorovka by the main road, we had a bad surpise. The day before, pro-Russian separatists dynamited the bridge in an attempt to isolate the city from the Ukrainian army.
A young volunteer at the local protestant church (left) makes free tea for the population. It is still very cold in the morning in Krasnogorovka.
Pastor Ivanov distributes cookies and chocolate to children coming for his visit.
The Kovcheg Protestant church remains unfinished, and now serves as a shelter for the population of Krosnogorovka.
Pastor Vladimir Priadka of the Kovcheg Protestant church (left) poses in Krasnogorovka with pastor Ivanov.
Clothes that pastor Ivanov and others brought, are stocked in one room of the church and are distributed to the local population.
Volunteers help to prepare the hundreds of meals that they are going to serve that day.
Several old woman were present at the shelter, alone and often silently crying.
Up to 40 people at a time can sit around the table inside the church.