Observing enemy positions
An exhausted Ukrainian soldier reacts while observing enemy positions from a makeshift bunker at a position in a frontline around the village of Novotroitska, at the Mariupol sector in Donbas Oblast in Ukraine, in April 2017. (Photo: Manu Brabo/MeMo)
It’s now three years since the uprising in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine. Since then, the Ukrainian army (supported by several nationalist militias) has been fighting Russia-backed rebels from the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.
The conflict, supposedly under a cease-fire since an agreement in February 2015, has been escalating during the first months of 2017, according to the latest reports. Yet the war remains mostly static, transforming the landscape into something resembling World War I, with trenches and machine-gun positions all along the contact line.
After three years, the only war in Europe doesn’t seem to be approaching an end. A powerful and bellicose Russia and the events going on in Syria and Iraq have relegated this conflict to oblivion, even for Ukraine’s European neighbors. In the meantime, according to the Ukrainian government, the war has left around 10,000 dead and 30,000 wounded, as well as 1.4 million internally displaced.
Text and photography by Manu Brabo/MeMo