Ukraine Crisis – The East
[ EPF 2016 FINALIST ]
Since the September 5, 2014 ceasefire deal in Minsk Both Pro Russia rebels and the UA army used the relative lull to build up their forces and for months the rebels tried to seize Donetsk airport, a strategic and symbolic asset, from government forces. With the start of 2015, a new rebel push began and by 22 January the airport was in their hands. In February 12, 2015 a new ceasefire deal was reached through international mediation, in an attempt to stop the fighting spiraling out of control. The important logistic railway hub city of Debaltseve fell into rebels hands a few days after the deal was struck.
A prolonged crisis in Ukraine began on 21 November 2013, when then-president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. This decision resulted in mass protests by its opponents, known as the “Euromaidan”. After months of such protests, Yanukovych was ousted by the protesters on 22 February 2014, when he fled the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. Following his ousting, unrest enveloped the largely Russophone eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, from where he had drawn most of his support. An ensuing political crisis in Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March. Subsequently, unrest in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine evolved into a war between the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government and pro-Russian insurgents.
The conflict in the east has claimed the lives of more then 9000 people so far. (UN figures- December 2015), and left approximately 660,000 people displaced inside Ukraine (UNHCR- January 2016).
This is one part of a continuing ongoing project 2014-2016 documenting the conflict in East Ukraine between Pro Russia rebels and Ukraine: the way it affects the country within itself/ international relations between Ukraine-The West and Russia.
Growing up in a war conflicted region, Gutman has always been deeply aware of the possibility of loss. Photography empowers him to share this insight, demonstrating the horrible, equalizing moment of the possibility of loss, the universality of vulnerability. There is nothing clearer, nothing more precious than the preservation of the life force in the face of violence and disease. This is what Amnon am attempting to articulate with my images of the world. Gutman is also part of a group of international photojournalists committed to informing the public about the repercussions of environmental degradation on human life around the world: @everydayclimatechange.
As an independent photographer, he has covered the conflict in the East of Ukraine since its began in 2014.