The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Nov2015 back issue
The Forgotten Ukraine
by Thomas de Wouters
Luhansk, like its neighbour Donetsk, is one of Ukraine’s self-proclaimed republics, but unlike Donetsk, Luhansk has no ‘press-marketing’, no infrastructure, no central authority and an even more tragic humanitarian situation which nobody talks about. In Donetsk, fighting is mainly concentrated around the airport, whereas the fighting frontline has extended over the entire republic of Luhansk, destroying villages and industries and leaving the population dormant.  These social outcasts are: families doomed by the conflict to manage as they can, handicapped  people afflicted today more than previously, children without a future and elderly people without help in their old age. They are two million people stuck between a porous Russian border and a frontline which ignores a real ceasefire. There is no more food in the shops and Russian humanitarian aid is only obtainable via the black market rather than distributed to the needy.  There is an alarming lack of medicine which MSF, the only NGO in this oblast, try desperately to dispatch. The aim of this report is to show the daily lives of the people of Luhansk surviving the madness of this deadly war. It shows the courage of those who have remained in order to help, without any financial support from Kiev, since the secession.  
People waiting in the snow at a humanitarian aid distribution center in Debaltseve.
At the social canteen in Perevalsk, a volunteer serves asimple meal of plain porridge, without butter and salt.
A woman with a free meal at one of the soup kitchens in Debaltseve.
A woman  waiting her turn to receive food at the social canteen in Prervalsk. The canteen is in a damaged building with no windows.
A woman going home after the food distribution in Debaltseve.
A  head of a rocket on the side of a street in Khryaschevatoe.
A damaged road that connects Donetsk and Luhansk.
An elderly woman repairing a church in Khryaschevatoe.
Vitaliy, 45, in front of his house in Chernukhino, destroyed during the Minsk agreements. This village is a few miles from Debaltseve which was the last town between Donetsk and Luhansk taken by the separatists. Vitaliy's legs were damaged in a train accident 18 years ago.
Angelina and her grandfather.  Angelina, 6, has severe mental disorders and needs medicine.
Children at a center for displaced people in Luhansk.
Patients at a psychiatric ward in Slavyanoserbsk. During bombings, no patients at this center were evacuated to safety.
A woman in block 3 (block for illness, insane and endlife people) at a retirement home.
A man at a psychiatric ward in Perevalsk, a small city in southwestern Ukraine.
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Patients watching television at a psychiatric ward in Perevalsk.
Children playing chess at an orphanage in Luhansk.
Khryaschevatoe’s cemetary. A man carrying sand to his wife's grave in the Khryaschevatoe region of Ukraine.
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