Women at War in Ukrainian Conflict
(1) Female fighters have been active members of both warring sides since the outbreak of the conflict. Women participating in the eastern Ukrainian conflict represent all walks of life and have different reasons to take up arms.
Above: A Ukrainian servicewoman stands in Horlivka, September 18, 2014.
(2) As of 2013, almost 10,000 women have completed military service in Ukraine’s Armed Forces as contract soldiers, with more than 1,600 positioned as officers.
Above: A Ukrainian servicewoman Stella, 33, poses for a picture in the village of Schastya, near the eastern Ukrainian town of Luhansk, September 26, 2014.
(3) A lot of DPR and LPR female freedom fighters are now seeking to retaliate after losing relatives in the conflict.
Above: A woman fighting for the self-proclaimed DPR, poses with her weapon in Donetsk, September 10, 2014.
(4) Some women are medical attendants or cooks, but others fight shoulder to shoulder with men.
Above: Members of Rus batallion’s female division during shooting drills.
(5) After undergoing military training, they join units, even serving in artillery sections.
Above: A DPR female soldier at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Horlivka.
(6) The freedom fighters remark that female soldiers are disciplined and surprisingly brave, calling them “true women”.
Above: A woman fighting on the side of the self-proclaimed DPR, Donetsk, September 8, 2014.
(7) A lot of women were forced to remain with their elderly parents who could not evacuate because of poor health and old age. Consequently their daughters decided to take up arms.
Above: A woman fighting for the self-proclaimed DPR in the town of Nizhnaya Krynka, eastern Ukraine, September 23, 2014.
(8) Some admit they are more fearful of sitting at home and enduring shelling than fighting an enemy face to face.
Above: A woman fighting on the side of the self-proclaimed DPR in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, September 17, 2014.
(9) Women claim the freedom fighters treat them as equals.
Above: A woman fighting for the self-proclaimed LPR in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, September 14, 2014.
(10) Before the outbreak of the conflict Irina was a croupier and never imagined herself waging a war. Now, her life is at stake…
Above: Irina, nicknamed Gaika, former croupier, turned to the artillery specialist at the DPR Army, Makiivka, eastern Ukraine, October 6, 2014.
(11) “So many people including children and women died on our side. I want no more ceasefire.”
Above: Alla, nicknamed Ryzhaya (the Red-haired), a independence fighter, poses during an interview in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, October 5, 2014.
(12) War turns everyone into a soldier. It is not surprising to see yesterday’s housewife in a bulletproof vest and helmet, holding a semi-automatic gun.
Above: Ukrainian servicewoman Nadie, 36, stands at the military camp in the village of Luhanska (near the town of Luhansk), eastern Ukraine September 24, 2014.
(13) Anyway, women are women, and a handgun often neighbors a make-up set on their tables.
Above: Irina, a petrol station employee, is now a member of a reconnaissance team of freedom fighters in the town of Makiivka, eastern Ukraine, October 6, 2014.
(14) Warring women say that they lack respect toward men who dodge fighting.
Above: A female freedom fighter gets ready to take position near the International Airport during fighting with Ukrainian government forces in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, October 4, 2014.
THANKS TO RIANOVOSTI!