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Donbass_Polese_1
Veseloe
By Fabio Polese
07 Jul 2017

Nina Romanova, 73. She is one the 50 people left in Veseloe, a suburb of Donetsk. The small village, populated by 400 people, has been fully bombed and nowadays mortars are shelled daily. Thanks to Red Cross' efforts since 3 months electricity has been working again.

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Sample media
NRC handelsblad tearsheets, Donbass war
Donetsk
By Konstantin Salomatin
23 May 2017

Some layouts of Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad with my photostories from war-torn Eastern Ukrain, Donbass.

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Ukraine: The Wait
Kiev, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
06 Dec 2015

Completed over the course of three trips to Ukraine in 2014/15, this multimedia piece explores the heavy silence of war - away from the war porn of frontline fighting and Western-Russain power plays. With Ukraine slipping back into the corrupt era of Yanukovich, the anxious wait for reforms, true independence and peace continues.

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Ukraine: The Wait 19
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
17 Oct 2015

Shells land 20 kilometers away. Four months later, in January 2016, a separatist rocket attack a few blocks away kills 30 civilians.

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Ukraine: The Wait 01
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
17 Oct 2015

Separatists’ diversionary raid on a railway bridge leaves passenger trains stranded in Mariupol, Donetsk region. After many months of idleness, the bridge was finally repaired.

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Ukraine: The Wait 07
Popasne, Luhansk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2015

[Radio chatter] Separatist positions report ‘111’ – ‘All clear’. Other call signs are ‘110’ – we’re being attacked; and ‘112’ – We’re attacking. It is believed, that the previously stationed Chechens and Don Cossacks have been replaced with regular Russian military combatants.

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Ukraine: The Wait 12
Kiev, Ukraine
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2015

Ukrainian street musicians perform a song by a
Russian rock band, ‘Splin’

I want to fall asleep and never wake up
go away into the sea and not come back
or come back, but together

With you so much more interesting
with you so many interesting things around
and not even tight (suffocating)

Without the squares, railway stations, stops
without all these civilisations

One more sip - and we’re on fire
on one, two, three

Burn with fire, your third Rome
catch my rhythm
and dance, dance, dance, dance

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Ukraine: The Wait 15
Mayorsk, Donetsk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2015

The patrol passes along the village streets, dotted by drunk civilians and military personnel – a sign not so uncommon even before the war. Somewhere in the vicinity, a high ranking Ukrainian officer was assaulted and kidnapped with his armed escort a week before.

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Ukraine: The Wait 13
Zolote, Luhansk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
30 Aug 2015

Sergei sits during night watch on the Permovaisk frontline, prepping his gun at the slightest noise in the distance; remains of an exploded 80mm mortar shell is a few meters away. In the morning, his face bathes in the warmth of a late summer’s sunrise.

“What a beautiful day, we all woke up alive.”

Sergei died on September 23rd during a skirmish, one day before he was due to return home.

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Ukraine: The Wait 09
Zolote, Luhansk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
29 Aug 2015

“I came here to replace the guys who have been here for months without rotation, so someone can go home - not because I’m some big Ukrainian patriot,” says Vladislav, stationed in Zolote.

Even before the war, the old mining village was poor, with crumbling buildings dotting the streets. Now, with even less people remaining, pensioners gather for a daily market - made up of 5 stalls, overshadowed by a modest Lenin statue. Three blocks away, Ukrainian soldiers occupy the vacant houses, which are shelled on a nightly basis.

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Ukraine: The Wait 14
Popasne, Luhansk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
29 Aug 2015

“One year ago, the commander put tanks in the first line, as if it was the Second World War; now you have accurate weapons – the whole crew died,” says one of the commanders.

The decrepit reminder of the war ruins the beautiful vista over the steppes of Donbas. Yet, the war is still on going, the steppes are the buffer zone, and the current trenches still scar the landscape, two meters behind the tank.

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Ukraine: The Wait 02
Kyiv
By Benas Gerdziunas
27 Aug 2015

Away from the headlines of Western-Russian power plays and war porn of frontline fighting; away from boys with a cause, imperial ambitions and the spectacle of war. What’s left is the chilling wait and anxiety. The sluggish nightmare immerses anyone unlucky enough to be caught up close – families stuck in the buffer zones, blaming elusive fascists,
as their men fight for the elusive Russians. The nightly grind of staring into the darkness of a frozen conflict, confined to the trench and radio transmitting enemy reports of your own movements; the sweeping apathy back home.

While Ukraine is slipping back into the corrupt era of Yanukovich, Eastern Ukraine is trapped in a disaster, which shows no signs of letting go. The anxious wait for reforms, true independence and peace continues.

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Ukraine: The Wait 08
Popasne, Luhansk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
27 Aug 2015

The night passes peacefully, with sporadic pot-shots fired from the opposing lines; the Ukrainians do not respond. Without appropriate night-vision gear, the watch is spent chewing through bags of seeds – siemki, and a constant flow of tea and, if available, coffee.

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Ukraine: The Wait 11
Popasne, Luhansk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
27 Aug 2015

Weapons sit idly, as the soldiers rest before the nightly grind.

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Ukraine: The Wait 06
Popasne, Luhansk Oblast
By Benas Gerdziunas
26 Aug 2015

After months without rotation, the prospects of an entrenched warfare remain bleak. Stationary frontline attritions grind is more reminiscent of World War One, than a 21st century battlefield. Faced with increasing apathy from their own society in Ukraine, many soldiers turn to bottle, or worst - chair and a rope – even if the problem has not yet reached epidemic proportions.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 04
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
17 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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"War is Our Way of Life": Chechens Jo...
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
15 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

The batallion seized a pro-Russian rebel in Shirokino for questioning. The hostage said that he was recently released from prison in Russia and was trying to reach his relatives in Ukraine. When crossing the border, he says he was grabbed by separatists and was recruited to fight with them against the Ukranians.

INTERVIEWS AND RAW FOOTAGE

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 01
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

DISCLAIMER: This footage was supplied by Chechen fighters.

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 02
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 03
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 05
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 06
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 07
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 08
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 09
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 10
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters in Ukraine 11
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
14 Jun 2015

Chechen soldiers from the Sheikh Mansur battalion have come to Ukraine to fight against pro-Russian separatists alongside Ukrainian forces. They said that Putin is their enemy and that he destroyed their Motherland. As their relatives are still in Chechnya, they hid their faces and asked not to be named.

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Chechen Fighters Interrogate Alleged ...
Shirokino, Ukraine
By Azad Safarov
13 Jun 2015

DISCLAIMER: This footage was supplied by Chechen fighters.

Chechens soldiers fighting alongside Ukrainian nationalists seized a pro-Russian rebel in Shirokino for questioning. The hostage said that he was recently released from prison in Russia and was trying to reach his relatives in Ukraine. When crossing the border, he says he was grabbed by separatists and was recruited to fight with them against the Ukrainians.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 23
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Jun 2015

A local Jewish mother is teaching her young daughter how to enter a bomb shelter in their garden in case of an artillery strike.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 24
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Jun 2015

Mariupol’s Jewish community is spread out, and some members, like Natalia Lavushko and her husband, Grigory, live on the city’s outskirts—areas that would be early targets in the event of a new offensive. The Lavushkos have stopped renovating their modest house because Ukraine’s currency devaluation has eaten into their meager income.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 25
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
08 Jun 2015

A young Jewish girl from the Mariupol community is writing on a board during classes inside the Chabad center.

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Ukraine: Brothers in War
Donetsk
By Lorenzo Giroffi
11 May 2015

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.

Textless, Natural Sound Version Available upon Request

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 27
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Apr 2015

A few remaining Jewish families still present in the port city of Mariupol allow their children to be taught at the only Chabad center left in the town.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 26
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Apr 2015

Young members of the Jewish community are learning how to use a computer in a basement inside the Chabad center of Mariupol.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 28
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Apr 2015

Teachers from the Chabad center of Mariupol are teaching young ones how to use a computer.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 30
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Apr 2015

A group of Jewish teenagers have gathered, as they do each day, in the Chabad center to play piano, and interact.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 29
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Apr 2015

A group of teenagers are taking some time off by inspecting the near by destroyed original Synagogue of Mariupol.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 31
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
29 Apr 2015

A pair of Jewish girls are having fun inside the remains of the destroyed Synagogue of Mariupol.