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Six kilometers from the separatist-controlled city of Horlivka, Ukrainian forces of the 17th Army Battalion are holding their positions in the small town of Dzerzhynsk. The soldiers say that machine guns and mortar strikes can be heard almost every night, and that separatist fighters have approached within a few hundred meters of their camp. Their time is spent waiting for their next orders, or the next outbreak of violence. (Photos by James Sprankle)

A man drowned on June 25 when severe flooding hit the Russian resort of Sochi, destroying homes and cutting off transport links. Authorities declared a state of emergency in the Black Sea city, which hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, deploying rescue workers from other cities to help cope with the disaster, authorities said. The body of the drowning victim, who was in his forties, was found in Adler, on the outskirts of Sochi. A torrential downpour dumped the equivalent of two months of rain in just 14 hours on the city of 400,000. Around 400 homes were destroyed in the part of the city closest to the Black Sea. "The Kherota river overflowed its banks, the train station was flooded and train services had to be suspended," Sochi's mayor, Anatoly Pakhomov, said. Around 2,000 people were stranded at the airport, which was under 1 meter of water, the mayor added. Several of the venues for the Olympics were flooded, as was the Formula One circuit to host the Russian Grand Prix that was inaugurated in October last year.

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