The ATO Zone


The following photos were taken in November 2016 in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of southeastern Ukraine. The ATO zone consists both of areas under the control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) and areas occupied by pro-Russian separatists. The latter include the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, the capitals of their respective regions and also of the de facto Donetsk and Lugansk “people’s republics.” The general mood in the ATO zone is unhappy, a fact these pictures attempt to convey.

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) sends monitors to gather information on various aspects of the crisis in the region, including damage to local infrastructure. In November 2016, one of many such missions was to Sectors B and C, in southern Luhansk and northern Donetsk regions, to inspect private homes damaged by separatist shelling. The European Union provides some assistance to victims, but many apparently remain unaware such help is available. KHPG thus informs these residents of their rights and encourages them to apply for aid.

Towns and villages visited included Bakhmut, Toretsk, Zalizne, Novhorodske and Pivnichne in Donetsk region, and Popasna in Luhansk region. A bigger photo album from this mission can be viewed here: Flickr

Block of flats in Popasna, Luhansk Region

 

Bullet holes in a residential building, Popasna

 

Home damaged by separatist shelling and under reconstruction, Popasna, Luhansk Region

 

The owner of the damaged home has lived with relatives for several months.

 

A boy plays in his damaged home in Popasna.

 

Popasna has a population of about 20,000.

 

Home in Toretsk hit by a Grad missile fired from separatist-controlled territory

 

KHPG monitors tell a Toretsk home owner of Western aid available to him.

 

Toretsk Landscape

 

A home in Novhorodske damaged by shelling

 

Interior of a shell-damaged home in Novhorodske

 

Interior of a shell-damaged home in Novhorodske

 

Interior of a shell-damaged home in Novhorodske

 

Interior of a shell-damaged home in Novhorodske

 

Interior of a shell-damaged home in Novhorodske

 

A resident of Novhorodske, a few hundred meters from separatist-controlled territory

 

A home in Zalizne, badly damaged by separatist shelling

 

Resident of a badly damaged home in Zalizne, within range of separatist snipers

 

Slag heap in Zalizne

 

Zalizne Slag Heap

 

Soviet-Era Statue, Zalizne

 

Zalizne Tower and Slag Heap

 

The house at the end of this lane in Pivnichne marks the line of control between Ukrainian and Russian forces. Locals venturing beyond it have reputedly come under sniper attack.

 

Ukrainian soldiers, Bakhmut

 

Donetskgeologia, Bakhmut

 

The pedestal of a removed statue of Bolshevik Fyodor Sergeyev, known as ‘Comrade Artem.’ From 1924 to 2015, Bakhmut was named “Artemivsk,” after Sergeyev.

 

Base of a removed Soviet statue, Bakhmut

 

Appellate Court, Bakhmut

 

War monument in Bakhmut’s central park

 

Bakhmut Train Station

 

Bakhmut Central Street

 

Bakhmut Sidestreet

 

Bakhmut Street

 

Bakhmut Central Administrative Building

 

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