One of the main characters of this series is a Russian woman Julia that have joined Ukraine when she was 18 years old. She left the war zone when she was 22 and came back to her little daughter.
Donetsk and Luhansk region, Ukraine where the war is still on and the shootings are everyday
matter. They say that Russia is dependent on Ukraine and the whole thing seems to be a “hybrid
war” since ex president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych turned against Ukraine and started to support
Russia and this conflict.
I’ve photographed mostly women in war and also a life of the civilians incl. children in the conflict
zone. One woman is Russian and another one is from Georgia and they both joined Ukraine.
- Snipers were the only ones who knew how many people they've killed. Sometimes he had to stay at one single spot for several days to stay low profile and also he had to wear baby pampers for his needs. He had to be invisible to the animals too.
The rest - volunteers never knew how many Russians they have killed but as one of them said:
"i don't really know how many but hopefully i've killed many Russians"
- Government sniper earns about 450$ a month. Now the government offers even more.
Detailed story of each soldier woman:
Yulia Tolopa (22 years old)
citizen of Russia, who volunteered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces; raises a daughter.
Yulia was born and grew up in Russia. She was fond of sports, and won the championship of Russia in assault hand-to-hand fighting. She came to Ukraine when the Revolution of Dignity began because she did not believe Russian propaganda, She wanted to see real events with her own eyes. With the beginning of the war, she volunteered to the Aydar battalion to help her Ukrainian friends who, who love and defend their country and fight for freedom. By her act she wanted to prove that she condemns the policy of the Russian government and aggression against Ukraine. Yulia fought in the hottest spots of the East of Ukraine, first as a striker, then as an aerial reconnaissance officer. She was wounded twice, and seven times bruised. Yulia is on the wanted list of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB), with three criminal cases opened against her. After her decision to defend Ukraine, Yulia lost her family's support, her parents agreed to facilitate her detention in the territory of the Russian Federation. Her current family is a little daughter who was born in Ukraine and lives in Kyiv with the friends. Yulia decided to stay in Ukraine forever and to applied for the Ukrainian citizenship.
Nana (30 years old)
Georgian, soldier of the Georgian National Legion, married,3 children.
Nana is a professional soldier. Since 2008, she fights in the ranks of the well known Georgian National Legion, which supports the freedom and independence of Georgia and Ukraine. Since the beginning of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, the Georgian National Legion has been rendering active assistance to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. Nana defends the integrity of Ukraine along with men: performs combat missions, renders the first medical aid to the wounded. Nana has a family and three children back in the Georgia.
Yulia Mykytenko (22 years old)
Ukrainian, soldier, reconnaissance platoon commander,married.
At the inception of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, Yulia felt the surmountable desire to be useful to her country, Despite the fact that by education Yulia is a philologist, she volunteered to the Ukrainian army. During the execution of one of the combat missions, Yulia met her future husband. After marriage, she continued her military service to protect her homeland next to her husband in one battalion. Due to her personal qualities, courage and professionalism, Yulia became the platoon commander of the reconnaissance platoon when she was 21 years old.
Acknowledge support from international Visual Art Project Ukraine: Tiding Over