UARU
"Unlike Most Tramps" - The Story of One Donbas War Veteran
8 November, 2020

Oleksandr, a native of the war-torn Luhansk region, is 33. He used to work as a paramedic in an ambulance there. As the war broke out, Oleksandr left the occupied Donbas and signed up as a volunteer to fight at the front. He had nowhere to return from the war.

Since 2017, Oleksandr has been homeless. Although he has a house, he cannot return to the occupied Luhansk region. He gets by doing odd jobs. In April, he came to the Carpathians in western Ukrainian and fell in love with the mountains. Now Oleksandr travels with a backpack, sleeping bag, and a bare minimum of belongings. He sleeps in roadside chapels and shepherd's huts. Crockery-wise, he has a metal cup to boil water.

He dreams of becoming a mountain guide. But this requires good equipment and a decent appearance, and Oleksandr's backpack is falling apart at the seams and his boots barely hold out from all the cracks.

But despite the precarious situation, he does not blame anyone. Oleksandr has patriotic views. A few years ago, the Russian speaker switched to Ukrainian. Watch the story of a homeless veteran who seeks himself and his home in a peaceful life.