Once out of the conflict zone many people arrive in the city of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine which is under control of the Ukrainian Army. They express relief that they managed to leave the conflict area but there is no guarantee that they will be able to return or that the things they left will still be there.
These are the stories of internally displaced people from places in eastern Ukraine that have seen some of the most intense fighting over the course of the conflict: Debaltseve, Avdiivka, Vuhlehirsk and Svitlodarsk. Their recent experiences have understandable left many in a state of shock and grief.
The IDPs Hromadske spoke to in Sloviansk are in transit. Forced to abandon their homes and lives, they have yet to find new ones. They receive basic aid and accommodation from a mixture of volunteers, international organisations and the Ukrainian authorities but it is difficult to come to terms with what has happened and even harder to begin planning for the future.
As at the 23 March 2015 the UN estimated that there are 1,178,000 IDPs in Ukraine. For several months a team of Hromadske traveled around Ukraine, from Sloviansk to Lviv, in search of stories of those who were left without their homes because of the war and the annexation. This the first story of part 1 of the Displaced series, a project about the lives of internally displaced persons in Ukraine from the Donbas region and Crimea.
// Hromadske TV with the support of the Thomson Foundation. Filmed in February, 2015.