In memory of my friend, a photographer and Donbass battalion volunteer Dmytro Kuzmin, who was killed in action in the summer of 2014

 PROMKA -  the photo series about the events happening in the industrial area of Avdiivka and about its defenders. Avdiivka, a small industrial town in the vicinity of Donetsk, has been a flash point of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia during the entire period of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in Eastern Ukraine. In the early spring of 2016, the Ukrainian troops took advantage of the terrorists’ blunders and occupied the industrial area of Avdiivka. Thus, it has become possible for our troops to destroy the enemy columns passing through the Donetsk-Horlivka route. Ever since the separatists continue their tries to return “Promka.” Every day the area of several hangars, garages, and a cottage co-operative becomes a zone of violent close-range skirmishes. Every day there is news about shellfire, attacks, and wounded men. But “Promka” is the only conflict spot where the Ukrainian troops are not only maintaining active defense but also acting on the offensive. It will not be long before the “separs” are sent flying through the fields all the way to Donetsk.

“Promka” is a strange, uncharted territory still existing in 2014, where the notion of ceasefire is unknown. It is a birthplace for too much sad statistics and too few reliable information for the society to finally understand what is going on there. PROMKA is a series of black-and-white and polaroid photos about the Ukrainian heroes who every day, in inhuman conditions, under constant shelling, continue to fulfill their duty of protecting the Ukrainian statehood. These shots were made in October and November of 2016. The war in Eastern Ukraine has been going on for three years already. Quite a lot of Ukrainians have fully dedicated themselves to helping the Ukrainian army, but most of the citizens have become callous and indifferent to the ATO. Unfortunately, the news from the flash points often causes hardly any reaction. We keep distancing from the reality of warfare, from explosions and shelling happening several hundred kilometers away from our homes. People recall the ATO only in the context of the general decline of our country. In many cases people are indifferent not due to their apathy but simply because they are uninformed. They do not know or do not understand what and where is going on in the ATO zone. It is not so surprising as the last time they saw the reports of high quality was during the Ilovaisk battle. Since that moment, only a few correspondents have been providing reliable and well-grounded materials.

 The aim of this photo-report is simple: first of all, to remind Ukrainians and the world community that the war in Ukraine goes on. Nothing has been finished yet: every day the best sons of Ukraine are dying, and every day our statehood is in danger. Now it is too early to put down arms and have some rest. Now as never before, the Ukrainian Army Forces need support of the united civil society. The eastern threat has not disappeared: every day and every hour our troops are guarding not only the Ukrainian sovereignty but all the democratic values of the whole world. The defenders of “Promka,” the “stalkers,” are heroes indeed, and their heroic deeds belong to the pantheon of the Ukrainian people.

 The project PROMKA, being exhibited in Ukraine and around the world, will tell about the events in the hottest spot of the ATO, the industrial area of Avdiivka, and will show its defenders.

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