The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

What the war in Ukraine looks like: B-sides after five days on the front

A soldier on patrol from 7th Company walks through a destroyed farmhouse in Pisky, Ukraine, Aug. 8 2015. (Thomas Gibbons-Neff/The Washington Post)

The war in eastern Ukraine is a war of trenches and shelling and of men who are tired of both.

In Pisky, a village on the outskirts of the city of Donetsk, a contingent of Ukrainian army soldiers — 7th Company of the 93rd Brigade — holds a small section of the front. Opposite their positions are Russian-backed separatists who wage their war from trenches of their own. During the day it is mostly quiet, an errant shell on the hour usually reminding those on the line that the war is waiting for darkness.

At night, the fighting starts when the air cools, and it doesn’t stop until an hour before sunrise. This is the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainian forces open fire on separatist positions (Video: Thomas Gibbons-Neff/The Washington Post)

[At Point 18 in eastern Ukraine, the war grinds on, night after night]

Ukrainian forces open fire on a separatist drone. (Video: Thomas Gibbons-Neff/The Washington Post)

[Inside a Ukrainian army unit’s headquarters, the war never ends]