When the engine stops, we are first struck by the silence. Life seems to have withdrawn from Vouhledar, a mining town in the south of Donbass where a furious tank battle took place at the end of January. Four months later, the Russian assault was defeated and the din of bombing receded a little. But the gaze, wherever it lands, stumbles on pulverized buildings, blackened facades, tree trunks torn from the earth and charred cars. Nature has regained its rights, overflowing on the sidewalks, inviting itself even inside the buildings. On the edge of the city, at the mercy of enemy fire, an imposing residential bar has been bombed so often that it now has the texture of lace.
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Father Oleh Tkachenko leaving a shop after delivering bread, near the front line of Vouhledar. Albert Lores
And yet, even weak, the pulse of Vouhledar still beats. This Saturday, May 20, Father Oleh Tkachenko has just parked his van when hunched figures advance in procession among the tall grass, as if out of nowhere. A woman dressed in a...
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