Photo by Anastasia Taylor-Lind @anastasiatl | Members of one extended family, Aleksandra Mountyan, Miroslava Grinik, Olga Grinik, Victoria Mountyan, and Valentina Mountyan (L-R), hang out in the backyard of Olga’s house, 50 meters away from a Ukrainian frontline military position in old Avdeevka, Donetsk Oblast, eastern Ukraine.
Around dusk the sounds of shelling and gunfire begin. People may appear relaxed, but it’s an illusion: they listen to determine the degree of danger. Usually they don’t react as long as they hear that the shelling is outgoing. When they hear incoming, they start listening carefully. Signs of closer hits, such as a particularly loud sound, a tangible explosion wave, or car alarms triggered by it, usually serve as signals to go inside. Everyone knows the safest place in their home.
It has been more than four years since the war in Ukraine began, and nothing spectacular is happening anymore. The frontline is static, and life around it is pretty normal—or so it seems. People in conflict zones get used to danger. Like everywhere else, they work, cook, have fun, fall in love, get married, and raise children.
Text by Alisa Sopova @sopova.alisa, a Ukrainian journalist from Donetsk. #5kfromthefrontline