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The War In Eastern Ukraine (Finally)

The majority of the articles I write for outside publication (stuff outside of The Velvet Rocket) have been printed in Italian newspapers. This makes things relatively easy as I can simply post the English version here and not conflict with a publication that would be upset about the duplicate content.

However, the main eastern Ukraine article that I wrote was published by an American publisher today (War Is Boring) and I do not wish to step on their toes. So, instead, I’ll just post the links to the various articles below and will encourage my readers whose primary language is English to read the War Is Boring article. Even for those of you that do not speak Italian though, the Italian articles have some good pictures even if you can’t read the article itself.

The article in LiberoReporter (Italian)

The article in Il Giornale (Italian)

The article in War Is Boring (English)

With the background covered by the articles – especially the War Is Boring article, which goes into the greatest detail – I thought I would post some of the pictures that I thought were interesting, but that did not make it into publication for one reason or another.

*****

A convoy of Ukrainian Army tanks moving up to the front lines:

A convoy of Ukrainian Army tanks moving up to the front lines.

Is this fucking creepy or what? This was laying in the middle of the road in one of the abandoned villages we went through:

creepy-dolls-head

A typical abandoned home converted into a base by the pro-Ukrainian volunteers:

A typical abandoned home converted into a base by the pro-Ukrainian volunteers.

A bunker hidden in the front yard of a home nearby:

A bunker hidden in the front yard of a home nearby

An exhausted volunteer returning from a night fighting on the front lines:

An exhausted volunteer returning home from a night fighting on the front lines

Inside another abandoned home, the volunteers were highly amused (I explain why in the article) to discover identity documents that showed the owner of the home had been a high-ranking Communist official in Russia:

communist-official-documents

communist-official-documents

One of the central rooms in an abandoned home (converted to a base by the volunteers), around which the social life of the volunteers would revolve:

One of the central rooms in an abandoned home around which the social life of the volunteers would revolve.

The volunteers joke around with each other inside an abandoned home:

The volunteers joke around with each other inside an abandoned home they have converted into a makeshift base.

A group of volunteers outside of a home converted into a bunker listen to the daily barrage starting up:

A group of volunteers outside of a home converted to a bunker listen to the daily barrage starting up.

Quite unlike the fighting in Kurdistan or Iraq, there is no shortage of weapons or ammunition for either side in Ukraine.

Brand new recoilless rifle rounds ready to be used that evening:

brand-new- recoilless-rifle-rounds-ukraine

Grenades in a crate outside:

ammunition-front-lines-ukraine

A volunteer inspecting recoilless rifle rounds before firing them:

volunteer-inspecting-recoilless-rifle-rounds-ukraine

One of the recoilless rifles used by the volunteers:

recoilless-rifle-front-lines-ukraine

One of the typical grenade launchers used by the pro-Ukrainian volunteers:

grenade-launcher-front-lines-ukraine

I thought the sighting mechanism on it was interesting:

sights-for-grenade-launcher-ukraine

Rocket launchers:

rocket-launchers-ukraine

A vehicle belonging to the volunteers that has been peppered by shrapnel from separatist mortars:

vehicle-peppered-by-shrapnel-belonging-to-volunteers-ukraine

A drawing that was visible in the front of the vehicle:

war-drawing-ukraine

The war has been tough on civilians caught between the two sides.

These apartments are on the edge of the “gray zone” between the Ukrainians and the separatists:

apartments-destroyed-fighting-ukraine

Homes destroyed by the fighting in Ukraine:

homes-destroyed-by-fighting-in-ukraine

homes-destroyed-by-fighting-in-ukraine

A view of the gray zone. The infamous Donetsk Airport is just beyond those trees in the distance:

gray-zone-ukraine

Out on patrol along the front lines through deserted villages with a group of pro-Ukrainian volunteers:

heavily-armed-ukrainian-volunteers-patrol-village-eastern-ukraine

heavily-armed-ukrainian-volunteers-patrol-village-eastern-ukraine

Checking out a ruined home – a feral dog exploded out of the house when we approached, startling the hell out of me:

heavily-armed-ukrainian-volunteers-patrol-village-eastern-ukraine

Moving carefully through the grass:

heavily-armed-ukrainian-volunteers-patrol-village-eastern-ukraine

heavily-armed-ukrainian-volunteers-patrol-village-eastern-ukraine

heavily-armed-ukrainian-volunteers-patrol-village-eastern-ukraine

A cat adopted by one of the volunteer units relaxes in the attic of a home destroyed in the fighting… A group of volunteers has converted the basement of the home into a bunker:

cat-in-destroyed-home-eastern-ukraine

The cellar of an abandoned home that has been converted into a fortified barracks for a group of volunteers under “Dolphin’s” command:

barracks-volunteers-eastern-ukraine

A pile of weapons and equipment belonging to the volunteers… A symbol for Commander Dolphin can be seen hanging on the wall in the background:

weapons-equipment-volunteers-eastern-ukraine

The volunteers are not exactly enjoying a life of luxury:

sleeping-quarters-bunker-volunteers-eastern-ukraine

sleeping-quarters-bunker-volunteers-eastern-ukraine

I hope you found those pictures interesting. They aren’t the type of pictures that would normally get published, but I think they help provide a better understanding of what life is like on the front lines in eastern Ukraine.

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3 thoughts on “The War In Eastern Ukraine (Finally)

  1. such a contrast between our lives and how we live and the lives of people in these war-torn countries who are just struggling to survive on a day to day basis – it seems unreal that both exist at the same time

  2. Too bad those photos didn’t make it into print. They really tell the story.

    *Sharron*

    On Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 5:25 PM, The Velvet Rocket wrote:

    > Justin Ames posted: “The majority of the articles I write for outside > publication (stuff outside of The Velvet Rocket) have been printed in > Italian newspapers. This makes things relatively easy as I can simply post > the English version here and not conflict with a publication ” >

  3. The party card clearly says, in both Russian and Ukrainian by the way, that the holder was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. There’s nothing there to imply he was a member “in Russia”. Quite the opposite. I suspect the Ukrainian language on the card is there precisely because he was a member in Ukraine. The CPSU was dissolved when the Soviet Union collapsed.

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