2014 - Ongoing
THE HYMN SILENT NIGHT fills the hotel lobby. In the distance, the hollow rumblings of bombing can be heard. It is Christmas in Donetsk, a stronghold in the rebel held territory of Eastern Ukraine.
Since the Russian-backed rebels took control over this territory in the beginning of 2014, more than 10 000 people have been killed and nearly two million people have been displaced.
Shops are closed, most industrial enterprises have been closed and the inhabitants that have not taken up arms have been left without work. Society has come to a grinding halt, in a war between east and west – between culture and power.
“I will always be a soldier”, says 23-year-old Dima. He traveled from Russia to become a mercenary in Donetsk, fighting for the rebels. He is planning to get married there, in the rebel state which is now his new home.