What It's Like to Be a Young Ukrainian in a War Zone
Local youth build their lives and continue to thrive despite the nearby conflict.
It’s normal for photographer Anastasia Vlasova to receive a message like this on her phone: “I’m sitting outside on the street and I hear the shelling really loud. People left the streets. It feels scary.”
The 10th grade girl who wrote the message, Diana Fomenko, lives in Shchastya, a small town in eastern Ukraine caught in the crossfire of the war between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels. In Shchastya, a town whose name translates to “happiness,” and nearby city Popasna, Vlasova is documenting youth living in the Ukrainian war zone.
“War is not only soldiers and trenches,” says Vlasova, who has covered the front lines since 2014, but grew tired of only photographing the fighting. It’s also local people who need