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Theatre of War

Donbass theatre performers on the frontline of the special operation

'All my life, I’ve been searching for a place to myself, a personal mission, a calling. And I found it in Donbass,' says Francois Maud d'Émé, vocalist of the Donetsk philharmonic and sergeant of the DPR forces. He volunteered to join the armed forces to save people and protect his new home during the special operation in Ukraine. Francois participated in the Mariupol liberation and saw the destruction Ukrainian nationalism had caused.

Today many performers fight for the DPR forces. Some of them were conscripted, and some were volunteers like Francois. But all of them want to protect their homeland. 'This is my land; I don’t want to move from here. I am on my soil, and I am protecting it,' says Denis Filchenko, head of production at the 'Donbass opera' theatre and now serves in the militia.