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Eastern Ukraine: Animals In The Crossfire

As the conflict escalates in eastern Ukraine, thousands of animals have found themselves caught up in the human tragedy unfolding around them. These poignant images of dogs, cats, and livestock in a war zone serve to underline the disruption and chaos unleashed by the violence in the Donbas region, which has already claimed more than 5,000 lives. (WARNING: Contains images some viewers might find upsetting.)

A dog stands at the site where a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane was shot down near the village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region.
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A dog stands at the site where a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane was shot down near the village of Hrabove in the Donetsk region.

A cat wearing a ribbon with the colors of the Ukrainian national flag stands near military binoculars at a checkpoint in the town of Avdeevka  near Donetsk last August.
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A cat wearing a ribbon with the colors of the Ukrainian national flag stands near military binoculars at a checkpoint in the town of Avdeevka  near Donetsk last August.

Vladimir Shramko, 48, walks past his neighbor's house, which was damaged by shelling, in the village of Spartak on the outskirts of Donetsk in October 2014.
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Vladimir Shramko, 48, walks past his neighbor's house, which was damaged by shelling, in the village of Spartak on the outskirts of Donetsk in October 2014.

Dogs gather near a Ukrainian tank at a position near Donetsk in September 2014.
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Dogs gather near a Ukrainian tank at a position near Donetsk in September 2014.

A dog sits amid the rubble of damaged buildings in Donetsk in November 2014.
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A dog sits amid the rubble of damaged buildings in Donetsk in November 2014.

A Ukrainian serviceman hugs a dog at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Gorlovka in October 2014.
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A Ukrainian serviceman hugs a dog at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Gorlovka in October 2014.

A cat stands in front of a destroyed building after fighting between pro-Russian militants and Ukrainian forces near Slovyansk in July 2014.
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A cat stands in front of a destroyed building after fighting between pro-Russian militants and Ukrainian forces near Slovyansk in July 2014.

A masked pro-Russian separatist sits beside a dog as he poses for a picture inside an occupied regional government building in Donetsk in April 2014.
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A masked pro-Russian separatist sits beside a dog as he poses for a picture inside an occupied regional government building in Donetsk in April 2014.

A local boy holds a cat outside his Donetsk home, which was damaged by shelling.
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A local boy holds a cat outside his Donetsk home, which was damaged by shelling.

Dogs pass by uniformed men, believed to be Russian soldiers, near a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol, Crimea, in March 2014.
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Dogs pass by uniformed men, believed to be Russian soldiers, near a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol, Crimea, in March 2014.

A cat rests on a bed in a basement used as a shelter from artillery fire in Donetsk late last year.
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A cat rests on a bed in a basement used as a shelter from artillery fire in Donetsk late last year.

A woman carries a dog as smokes rises above buildings shortly after a shelling in Donetsk in August 2014.
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A woman carries a dog as smokes rises above buildings shortly after a shelling in Donetsk in August 2014.

Ukrainian serviceman play with a cat during a short break in the village of Pesky, not far from the embattled airport of Donetsk, in October 2014.
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Ukrainian serviceman play with a cat during a short break in the village of Pesky, not far from the embattled airport of Donetsk, in October 2014.

Cows graze near a tank and servicemen, believed to be Russian, outside a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, in March 2014.
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Cows graze near a tank and servicemen, believed to be Russian, outside a military base in Perevalnoye, near the Crimean city of Simferopol, in March 2014.

A dog looks at the body of Vladimir Churilov, who was killed by shelling while out on a walk in the Azotny district of Donetsk in December.
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A dog looks at the body of Vladimir Churilov, who was killed by shelling while out on a walk in the Azotny district of Donetsk in December.

 A dog barks in front of a car damaged by recent shelling in the village of Krasnyi Pakhar near Donetsk in November 2014.
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A dog barks in front of a car damaged by recent shelling in the village of Krasnyi Pakhar near Donetsk in November 2014.

A cat lies on an ammunition box at a pro-Russian separatist position near Donetsk airport late last year.
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A cat lies on an ammunition box at a pro-Russian separatist position near Donetsk airport late last year.

A pro-Russian militant pets a dog while guarding a checkpoint in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk in June 2014.
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A pro-Russian militant pets a dog while guarding a checkpoint in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk in June 2014.

A Ukrainian soldier plays with a dog in the eastern city of Debaltseve in December 2014.
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A Ukrainian soldier plays with a dog in the eastern city of Debaltseve in December 2014.

A Ukrainian serviceman rests with a dog at a military camp near the town of Horlivka in eastern Ukraine in September 2014.
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A Ukrainian serviceman rests with a dog at a military camp near the town of Horlivka in eastern Ukraine in September 2014.

A Ukrainian serviceman pets a stray dog as convoys of buses leaves Ukraine's frontline town of Debaltseve to take besieged civilians to safety after both sides agreed a brief humanitarian truce.
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A Ukrainian serviceman pets a stray dog as convoys of buses leaves Ukraine's frontline town of Debaltseve to take besieged civilians to safety after both sides agreed a brief humanitarian truce.

A female Ukrainian soldier holds a dog at a checkpoint in the village of Pesky near Donetsk.
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A female Ukrainian soldier holds a dog at a checkpoint in the village of Pesky near Donetsk.

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