Living As A Teenager In War-Torn Donbas
26 April, 2015

"I didn't even know that my house had been hit. I was in the bathroom where I was sleeping. There was no electricity. At 7 o’clock we got up and went to look at what had happened in the city…I hadn't even felt that my house was hit," Andrii Korol told Hromadske.

Andrii is 17 years old and lives in Avdiivka, a city in eastern Ukraine. He lives in a multi-story apartment block from which you can see Donetsk Airport. The towns and villages surrounding the airport have been some of the hottest spots of conflict since the war began.

"I’m not saying that I barely survive. I still have money. It’s those elderly people who have nothing to eat that are struggling. It’s the cats and dogs. There are some people who don’t receive their pensions so the humanitarian aid really matters to them.
If there is no [coke] plant – there will be no city.’ - Everyone says that because half of the city works there and the plant provides the city with everything: electricity, heating and water. I think if it closes, it’s all over," Andrii said.

Andrii has left Avdiivka several times – he has relocated his mother and sister and moved his grandparents. Now he has decided to return home though he has moved from his apartment to a hostel of the city’s coke plant. There he has the basic necessities for living: electricity, water and heating, unlike most places in the city.

// Bohdan Kinashchuk. Filmed 04.07.2015