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Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Year After Minsk Accord, Shaky Truce Is The New Normal In Donetsk

Published 10 February 2016

One year after the signing of the Minsk peace agreement on February 12, intended to put an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine, residents of Donetsk and the surrounding areas have grown accustomed to shortages, checkpoints, and sporadic clashes. (RFE/RL photographer Petr Shelomovskiy)


A view of Donetsk, which has been under the control of Russia-backed separatists since April 2014


Masha draws pictures at her home in the Petrovskiy district of Donetsk. Her family was among some 40 people, including 19 children, who lived in a bomb shelter for more than a year. In spite of the cease-fire agreement that went into force in February 2015, sporadic bombing and shelling have continued, and residents are still afraid to sleep in their own homes at night.


Ivan stands in front of his family's house in the Petrovskiy district of Donetsk. He is unemployed, and the only family income comes from welfare payments for his three children.


Svetlana Repeteva, who is married to Ivan, and her family


Maria cried while speaking about the war and those who have died on both sides. "When will all this be over?" she asked.


Armed separatists patrol the streets of Donetsk.


Separatist militiamen stop a car for inspection.


Separatist fighters inspect cars.


A train carrying wood for use at a coal mine crosses a road outside Donetsk.


A man searches through a trash bin in a residential area.


A checkpoint near Artemivsk, about 80 kilometers from the city of Donetsk


Maria Andreevna, 75, lives in the village of Zaysteve, which is split between Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed separatists. The closure of a checkpoint has prevented her from traveling to Artemivsk to pick up her pension. 


Maria cuts plywood to cover windows shattered by a nearby mortar explosion two days earlier.


A Ukrainian government serviceman walks on top of an armored vehicle near Zaytseve.


A Ukrainian government position near Zaytseve


Weapons belonging to government troops


A serviceman keeps an eye on enemy positions near Zaytseve.


Government troops watch enemy positions.


The rising sun is seen through a military scope from a Ukrainian army position near Zaytseve.


In a calm moment, a Ukrainian government serviceman takes a picture of the sunset.