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Photo exhibition on Ilovaysk battle opens in Kyiv
Date:11-30 August 2015
Photo exhibition showing one of the most tragic episodes in the current war in eastern Ukraine – the battle of Ilovaysk has opened in Kyiv.
Ukrainian troops successfully conducted combat actions and entered Ilovaysk on 18 August 2014. They managed to take control over the major part of the town. On 23-24 August regular Russian troops entered Ukraine to reinforce militant forces. Then Ukrainian military command is also named accountable for the tragedy. On 28 August Ukrainian forces found themselves surrounded in a pocket by militant groups and Russian regular forces. Combined Russian-militant forces put forward an ultimatum: Ukrainian troops need to lay down arms and leave their equipment, they will be then let out of encirclement. On 30 August Ukrainian forces started moving out of the pocket in organized columns and were deliberately fired upon by the adversary. Hundreds were killed, wounded or taken captive. Until now no uniform numbers on Ukrainian losses in the battle of Ilovaysk are available. In April Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios said 458 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 478 wounded in Ilovaysk pocket. Earlier this month the Prosecutor said 366 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 429 wounded. Donbas battalion commander Semen Semenchenko estimated Ukrainian losses in the battle as exceeding one thousand troops.
Photo: “Ilovaysk” exhibition, courtesy of the National Taras Shevchenko Museum
“Ilovaysk” photo exhibition is a chronological set of pictures taken by four Ukrainian photographers Oleksandr Glyadelov, Maksym Dondyuk, Maskym Levin and Markiyan Lyseyko over 10-29 August last year. The photos narrate the first offensive Ukrainian troops made on militant-held Ilovaysk on 10 August, advance of the Donbas battalion towards Osykove village on 14 August, mop-up of Hrabske village, entering Ilovaysk, fighting in the town and the attempt to break out of the encirclement on 17-29 August.
“In this room servicemen of the 3rd special forces battalion Donbas were holding defense. We are fighting and dying for you not to know what the war is,” says the writing on a school board made with white chalk in one of the photos.
“We were left alive where others died. We remember and cannot let it be forgotten. We are waiting for justice,” say the photographers in a foreword message to the exhibition.
“Ilovaysk” photo exhibition is open through 11-30 August 2015 at the National Taras Shevchenko Museum (12 Shevchenko blvd.) in Kyiv.
For more photos and Museum’s opening hours visit its web page.