A presentation of the "Donbas and Civilians" photobook was held in Kyiv in 2018. It includes 11 stories full of pain and suffering. These are the stories about burnt houses and charred hopes. These are the stories about the courage and heroism demonstrated by civilians affected by the military operations in Donbas.
"Mariupol, 2015. Little Milana smiles, but there is inexpressible pain in her unchildlike wise eyes... Vostochny residential area is being shelled. Civilians die one by one. Milana's mother was among them. The girl remained alive, because her mother covered her with herself. "Granddaughter crawled, called mom and shouted: "Help my mother, she is bleeding!" Blood... She was only three years old." (From the book "Donbas and Civilians")
The publication was presented as part of the report of the Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, which was attended by representatives of the UN and other international missions, embassies and charities.
The guests of the event were the main characters of the book — children who were injured. Children who managed to survive in spite of terrible forecasts.
"Avdiyivka, 2015. Sudden shelling, and a fragment of a projectile injures Vlad in the head. Field hospital and a terrible verdict: 60% of the brain is damaged, there are almost no chances. Nine days of coma was just like a nightmare. Parents believed in a miracle. The son is the most valuable thing that they have. It cannot be otherwise. And the children's body copes..." (From the book "Donbas and Civilians")
"Donbas and Civilians" is a chronicle of the terrible events that are taking place today in the center of Europe. These events gradually disappear from the information space.
"Now very few people know how people actually live in the conflict zone. The trouble does not get smaller, but a terrible habit appears. Those who live in the war zone get used to shooting. Those who live far away get used to the fact that something is constantly happening in Donbas, but life goes on. This is so scary, because when the war becomes the norm, there is a very big risk of passing this on to our children and grandchildren", said Natalia Yemchenko, member of the Supervisory Board of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, director of public relations and communications at the SCM grpup. "The Rinat Akhmetov Center has been addressing indifference for three and a half years every day, helping civilians with resettlement, food, medical care. We continue to work in the information field — this is a struggle for the indifference of the Ukrainians".
The guests of the event did not remain indifferent either. Many adults could not hold back tears when they found out what little heroes had experienced. And the children willingly gave out autographs. Certificates were among the gifts that they received from the Center — with their dear ones the children will be able to return to rehabilitation in one of the best health camps of the country.
"By helping the injured children in rehabilitation, we realized that the stories of our heroes should be included in the book. Without embellishment and understatement. And we must show this photobook, give it to as many people as possible". "Donbas and Civilians" is much more than a photobook. This is a document. And while military events continue, this is not history, but a chronicle", Natalya Yemchenko noted.
4.4 million civilians were affected by the fighting in the Donbas. 200 thousand people risk every day to get under fire, be wounded or killed.