Children's stories from Ukraine   Syria   Iraq   Iran



…»Where do you come from?«
»From the wide world.«
»Where do you want to go?«
»Home.«
»Where is your home?«
»Where is my home? I do not know.«…


— Janusz Korczak: Little King Matty and the Desert Island





1

Since spring 2014, there is a war in Eastern Ukraine and at the same time Russia has annexed the Crimea.
Nearly 8000 people have been killed in this war so far and more than 2 million people have fled the war zone – about one half of these people went to Russia and the other half to Western and Central Ukraine and also into the neighbouring countries e.g. Poland, Belarus.
In this war, there is, on the one side, the army of the pro Western Ukrainian government and more than 30 voluntary Ukrainian battalions, among them there are also ultra national battalions (e.g. Battalion Asow); on the other side there are pro Russian militia, which are supported by the Russian Army and also by ultra national voluntary Russian battalions (e.g. Russian National Unity).
Right from the start massive media propaganda was part of the war: While the pro Russian militia are simply ›terrorists‹ for the Ukranian government, the pro Russian militia describes the members of the Ukranian government as ›fascists‹ and ›national traitors‹.
The war in Ukraine has already expanded into a new East-West conflict. But so far one can not see an end to the war/conflict, neither on the national nor on the international level although there is a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine right now.
In August 2015 I spoke to Ukrainian children in Kiev, who had fled the war zone, and photographed them.
My thanks go to Hanna Karpenko and Vostok-SOS for their support of this project.

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2

Even three years after the outbreak of the war in the Eastern Ukraine and Russia's annexation of the Crimea,
there is no solution of this conflict.
Neither the Russian-backed pro Russian militia nor the Ukrainian army have adhered to the armistice agreements, according to the OSCE.
At the same time, this war plays only a subordinate role in international media.
In August 2017, I spoke to children and adults in the Eastern Ukraine and photographed them.
My thanks go to Hanna Karpenko, Helena Rozvadovska and Yulia Kishenko (Vostok-SOS), Darya Kasyanova (SOS Children's Village) and everyone who supported my work in the Ukraine.
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