Ukraine’s fierce resistance to the Russian invasion is being echoed around the world.
At the heart of this battle are ordinary citizens who have left behind a comfortable life to answer the call of duty – such as a software engineer, a logistics manager and even a poet.
The Donbass region, south of Izium, is a key point of resistance to Russian attempts to completely encircle it.
Most of the civilians have fled, and the artillery battles are almost permanent. These are some of the people who are trying to make sure that they do not fall into the hands of the Russians.
Anna Arhipova, 22
Before the war began, Anna Arhipova was the logistics manager in her hometown of Poltava, northeastern Ukraine.
At the time, her main fear was not violence, but “not being useful,” she says. So she signed up, and now she drives a pickup truck through some of the most dangerous areas of the conflict.
In the world of bearded, stocky teenagers, his light frame cuts off an extraordinary figure. But she says it’s men, not those who are worried about her presence.
“Everyone tells me I have to give birth, cook, clean and do the housework, not live here,” she says. “It bothers me a lot. I answer that if I want to give birth I will not be here.”
Alex, who only wanted to use his first name due to privacy concerns, is a software engineer from Kharkiv. Last year, he built his log cabin in the countryside.
Now his house, which was strategically located on a hill, has been drilled five meters deep, and he spends most of his nights sleeping in a tank called “Bunny”, which was stolen by the Russian army in the early weeks. Had taken War.
“It’s like my personal tank,” he says. “I’m like a tank commander and a tank owner,” he says with a laugh.
Vlad Sword, 27
Vlad Sword was still a teenager when he signed up to fight for Ukraine in 2014.
“There’s a lot of weird stuff out there,” Sword explains, as he drinks cigarillos. “Things I couldn’t explain, I collected them, compiled them, wrote them.”
He is now a published author and poet. He fights for his country, and gathers material to document what is happening.
“I have a very good memory of conversations and I use it. I can write everything down.”