As the months pass, Ukraine's desperate humanitarian crisis is deepening. Download this footage illustrating the harsh reality of frontline areas in Donetsk and Luhansk.
As the months pass, the area’s desperate humanitarian crisis is deepening. As Ukraine’s fragile ceasefire enters its fifth month, sporadic fierce fighting continues. Shells still fall on homes. The scale of the emergency still grows. While the crisis slips in and out of world headlines, a human catastrophe has been unfolding – and deepening as the months pass.
The toll: 6,400 people dead. 1.3 million made homeless, nearly a million fled to neighbouring countries.
Displaced people -- and those remaining in their homes inside the conflict zone -- face shortages in food, clean water, sanitation, and medical supplies. In all, over 5 million Ukrainians are in need.
The European Union has contributed over € 200 million in financial aid to help those most in need, on both sides of the conflict. This report goes to the heart of the conflict zone to show the devastating effect on the population, and humanitarian efforts to address the emergency.
All Ukraine material in this report was shot inside the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk controlled by forces opposed to the Ukrainian government.
THIS B-ROLL (7 mins 52 secs) CONTAINS RECENT FOOTAGE FROM FRONTLINE AREAS (shot 17 May - 1 June 2015):
• Exclusive sequences shot in Donetsk and Luhansk regions outside Ukraine government control. These sequences illustrate appalling living conditions and hardship being experienced by populations in these areas directly affected by the conflict.
• Sequences include : families living in the basements of destroyed homes ; internally displaced persons in emergency shelters ; EU-funded humanitarian distributions of food and hygiene items ; distribution of water, by humanitarian workers wearing helmets and bulletproof vests, as gunfire erupts nearby ; repair of homes badly damaged by shelling.
• Interviews in English with Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management ; and in Russian and in English with representatives of the humanitarian organization People in Need on the ground in the Ukraine conflict zone.
0000 Waiver and titles.
0010 Interview with Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management (in English). Shot Brussels, 11 June 2015.
"People in these very difficult circumstances need the most basic things : food, household items, clean water, shelter, medicines. They also need decent education and healthcare. They need jobs. The lack of all these makes their integration in their host communities more difficult."
0044 Kievskiy district, Donetsk. Destroyed homes, church and bridge. Shot 17 May.
This district is located near the Donetsk airport, where fighting between opposition forces and the Ukrainian army took place. The district was heavily shelled. There is no electricity, water or gas in the district. After the February 15th ceasefire, people started to return to their homes.
0059 Spartak village, Donetsk region. Living in basements. Shot 17 May.
Svetlana Grekova and her family in the shelter under their house destroyed by shelling (in Russian): 0114 “Since June 13th 2014, we’ve no water. 0119 A woman across the road has a well, and we take water from there. 0124 And we’re used to not having electricity. We were given candles, but mostly we have a torch. And now it’s alright. As soon as dusk comes, we go to bed. “
Tamara Petrova also lives in a basement because her house is destroyed (in Russian) : 0143 “Are we to blame ? it’s not our fault. 0147 Whose fault is it ? I don’t know.”
0202 Yasynovata, Donetsk Region. Water delivery to homes. Shot 24 May 2015.
PiN volunteers deliver bottled water. (The only other source of water is a fire engine that comes once a week on Fridays).
PiN volunteer asks people to go to their homes because shooting starts (in Russian) : “Everybody go home. We’ll bring water right to your homes.”
We hear shooting in the background.
0216 Michal Przedlacki PIN program supervisor (in English). “We are now in the Northern part of Donetsk, Donetsk Tsvirnoy, on the 71st kilometer. We are distributing bottled water to the remaining population living here. We are wearing Kevlar [Bulletproof] vests and helmets because there is some ongoing hostilities close by, and therefore we had to call people off, so that they stay in their homes, and they are safe. And we are going to deliver them water as we are doing now, by basically bringing it apartment to apartment.”
Various of PIN volunteers delivering water.
0259 Ivan Ignatov, PIN project manager (in Russian) : “We take responsibility that we don’t abandon them. Our priority is always to give help to those people who are still left. “
PIN volunteers deliver water to bomb shelter
0321 Chernukhina village, Luhansk region. Visit to destroyed home. Shot 21 May.
Galina Kmolochig. Her home was destroyed, and husband was killed by shelling. We visit her home with her. (In Russian) :
0326 “Absolutely nothing was left, do you understand ? 0330 I’ve no husband, I’ve lost everything. 0333 My husband was a pensioner, and we had everything we needed. Everything.Do you understand ? 0337 And this is all I’m left with now. One second, one minute, everything lost. 0347 I was here, a sofa was here, and my husband was crushed in that corner.”
0400 Nikishina village, Donetsk region. Homes destroyed and repaired. Shot 21 May.
For a long time, this village was divided between Government and opposition forces. It is now held by opposition forces. It is one of the most severely damaged villages in the region, and suffered heavily during January-February 2015
Scenes of widespread damage.
People repairing their homes.
Nikolai Inshin, Nikishina resident (in Russian) : 0423 “ The priority is cement, sand, glass, and corrugated roofing. All construction materials are needed here “
Evgeniy Plotnikov fixes his roof, and shows remains of shells, which hit his house (in Russian) : 0436 “These I found in my own yard.”
Construction materials provided by the Czech aid organization People in Need (PiN).
PIN distributes construction materials (wood, plastic sheeting, glass, window foil and roofing felt), but also provides manpower to the most vulnerable, usually those unable to repair their houses on their own (single headed households, elderly, disabled people). They are currently helping repair 49 homes in Nikishina. Their target is to actively repair around 1060 homes by the end of 2015 and to provide materials for a further five thousand households, all within separatist-controlled areas.
Nadezhda Rozhkova with her son (in Russian): 0454 “Our house needs rebuilding because we’re used to living here. We want to live here, and our children and grandchildren are here.
0506 Everything is disrupted. It’s hard. “
0512 “War has hit many settlements, but not as hard as ours. I feel sorry about the village. And we want to go home. “
House destroyed by shelling.
Natalia Kozhokar, PiN project coordinator (in Russian) : 0524 “We aim to help every inhabitant whose home has been destroyed by shelling, as both Ukrainian army and opposition forces have been here. 0542 A lot of people are staying here. They don’t want to go anywhere, they feel drawn to their home. “
0550 Stakhanov, Luhansk Region. Shelter for internally displaced people. Shot 23 May 2015.
The municipality runs this shelter for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Stakhanov. PiN brings the residents humanitarian aid parcels.
Scenes of the shelter and living quarters.
Family living in the shelter.
Galina Avdeeva (she speaks slowly having suffered a stroke after her house was hit by shell). In Russian :
0615 ”We went with the children to bring water. And when we came back, there was no house. 0621 A shell hit our roof. 0625 At my age, to be without a roof over my head, it’s very frightening. “
0632 Stakhanov, Luhansk region. Food, hygiene and Pampers distribution. Shot 22 May.
Stakhanov is in a frontline area, so there is no proper access for aid.
Distribution here is by PiN. Some material is directly from UNICEF, some brought by Czech convoy. It is being distributed to the most vulnerable, ie mainly to people without income. Many people are unemployed, with no income, in this area.
Scenes of the distribution, and of the PiN warehouse.
Elena Burinda, Stakhanov resident (in Russian) : 0655 “We need cleaning materials. We need Pampers because I have a baby at home. 0704 Many things we need. “
0708 Donetsk. Distribution of WFP food parcels and UNICEF hygiene kits. Shot 22 May 2015.
Volunteers in PIN warehouse, and scenes of distribution in a frontline Donetsk neighbourhood.
Nikita Lysenko, Donetsk resident (in Russian) : 0718 “There’s no place to work because everything’s destroyed. 0721 There’s no money to buy anything. “
0723 Yasynovata, Donetsk Region. Delivery of hygiene kits for children on the International Day of the Child. Shot 1 June 2015.
Here, 105 disabled children aged from 6 to 14 received hygiene kits (donation from UNICEF through PIN)
Delivery of package to home of Elena Martynina and her son Misha.
Elena Martynina (in Russian) : 0739 “Before the war I was working. Now absolutely nothing. We’ve no money to buy anything.”
0746 Slate with contact for further information.