This is Us, This is Ukraine – a series about ordinary people living through war on the EU’s doorstepPublished: Feb 19, 2019 Reading time: 3 minutes
5 phones, 5 people, 5 villages. We’ve collected real-life video material filmed by local people living near the frontline in eastern Ukraine. Armed conflict still rages just 2,000 kilometres from Berlin.
Marina, Galina, Natalia, Valentin and Sergei had never even done a selfie before. Now they’ve become YouTubers, documenting the impacts of the conflict on their villages near the frontline. Not all their shots are perfect. But they provide authentic and powerful evidence of life in the middle of the forgotten conflict in eastern Ukraine, which is about to enter its sixth year …
• More than 5 million people have been affected by the war
• Over 10,000 people have been killed (including nearly 3,000 civilians)
• 3.5 million people need humanitarian assistance
• Around 1.5 million people are now refugees in their own country
Marina, Galina, Natalia, Valentin and Sergei have been living through it the whole time.
Marina interviews her neighbours in Bachmutka village, reports on the lack of drinking water and non-functioning infrastructure, and documents the distribution of bread, clothes and other humanitarian aid.
Valentin takes us through the construction of his new house in Krymske village (his old property was destroyed by shelling in 2015). Since then, he’s been living and sleeping in his small garden kitchen, with the distant explosions that interrupt his report an all-too-frequent reminder of the war.¨
Natalia and Galina, who work at their local school as teacher and principal, give us a compelling insight in to the daily lives of children affected by the war – lessons, medical check-ups and psychosocial support groups.
Sergei documents what life is like for his family in Stary Aidar.
Our YouTubers, the ordinary people caught up in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, speak up about the major issues affecting their lives – poverty, unemployment, and the disinterest of the international community.
But they also capture the ordinary, everyday ‘human’ moments in their lives. Whether it be Sergei’s delight in seeing the first snowfall of the winter, the birthday celebrations of Marina’s close friend, Valentin introducing us to his domestic animals, Natalia sharing her recipe for traditional ‘pirozhki’ or Galina singing a folk tune while cycling to work.
These are their stories. This is Us, This is Ukraine.
Each new episode is broadcast on Monday at 8pm on our YouTube channel and on Facebook. Subscribe now and don’t miss the next instalment of This is Us, This is Ukraine!
This documentary series is part of the ACCESS project funded by the European Union through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and implemented by People in Need, ACTED, IMPACT Initiatives (REACH), Médicos del Mundo España, NGO Forum Ukraine and Right2Protection.