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Donbass Under Fire

Life in the Donetsk Republic under bombs

After the Donetsk People’s Republic was proclaimed, war ravaged Donbass. Ukrainian artillery has been shelling towns and villages. Some people were lucky to get evacuated. Others stayed at their own peril and lost connection with their families. Either way, they did their best to survive in the ruins of their own houses and hope for a better future.

Andrey Lysenko and his son Vladislav are volunteers who drive across the devastated Donbass and distribute humanitarian aid to locals bought with subscribers’ money. Sometimes they travel with projectiles flying and bombs exploding around, but they are used to it. Their main goal is to help the people of Donbass to hold on and have all they need to survive.

The locals tell stories about Ukrainian nationalist and armed forces coming into their towns and villages, hiding among the civilian population, with tanks firing in the middle of residential neighbourhoods.

DNR residents who were separated from their relatives and loved ones by the front line venture out to the once Ukrainian city of Volnovakha, which now belongs to the DNR, to look for them and possibly reunite. But not everybody is willing to leave the houses they’ve been living in for years and abandon their pets.

How do people find the courage to remain strong and compassionate during shelling?