[THE UKRAINE PROJECT]
Since 2014, over 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers have died in the undeclared war in eastern Ukraine, and over 360,000 have fought and returned home to the “peace-life.” But these figures only account for soldiers who were formally registered (documented) in the Ukrainian Armed Forces or in “volunteer” battalions that were eventually integrated under Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense. There are still thousands of unaccounted men and women who fought or fought and died in 2014 and 2015, during the most violent seasons of the conflict, before it turned to the trench style warfare of World War I that it remains today. For those who survived, they must fight through red tape in courtrooms to attempt achieving “combat participant status,” a label that would grant them access to underfunded and underequipped state support for the psychological and physical distresses of war, including brain injury. Many of them continue to serve on the frontline, not able to find their place within the “peace-life,” not able to abandon a purpose that they and their fallen comrades risked everything for in the beginning.