A newly arrived intake undergoes a strip search during intake at the prison camp.

  • Image 1 of 12

To Die In Prison Or Die At War - It Makes No Difference

Svet Jacqueline | Ukraine

Organization: freelancer

As you walk into the prison facility- barbed wire lines the towering concrete walls against an overcast sky. The scene reminds you of other war camps- mainly those of the Nazis during WWII- however, the reality for Russian captives living in the camp is significantly more humane than anything in the 1940s. "In Ukraine, a European country, we keep prisoners of war in a humane way -- despite the fact that they are trying to kill us,” one guard says.

Prisoner exchanges have become a regular feature of this war and for Kyiv, they must continue. Russia’s apathy for human life has been demonstrated since the full-scale military operation in February 2022, as they continue to throw men into war unprepared. Many describe their time in captivity as an improvement from their lives in Russia or on the frontlines. They don’t care about the outcome of the war and they express sentiments of indifference about their future. “What do I have to go back to?” Echoing the shared sentiment that it makes no difference if they die in prison or at war.

Producer: Pavlo Rybaruk

I first arrived in Ukraine a week after the start of the full-scale invasion and have remained there ever since. The work I have done thus far continues to expand as I invest more time and resources into it. As a Russian orphan, interacting with Russians is particularly challenging. The repeated rhetoric coming from the Russian prisoners makes the harsh reality I witness daily in Ukraine seem more painful and unnecessary.




Content loading...

Make Comment/View Comments