Swiss Film Selection

The women of Donbas

Ukrainian women have played a critical role in the conflict that has raged in the east of the country since 2014.

This content was published on May 20, 2022 - 09:00
RTS, Temps Présent

This 2019 documentary by Swiss public television, RTS, looks at the involvement of women in the conflict in Ukraine. The team of journalists from Temps Présent travelled to the war-torn Donbas region in the east of the country to interview women caught up by the endless violence.

Since 2014, many Ukrainian women have chosen to take up arms, while others have decided to raise their families under the constant threat of daily bombings and shootings. Others fight to keep schools open just a stone’s throw from the front line.

Donbas has been the focal point of Russia’s campaign to destabilise Ukraine, starting in 2014 when the Kremlin used proxies to set up two separatist “people’s republics” – Luhansk and Donetsk – in the ex-Soviet state.

Since mid-April 2022, Russian forces have focused much of their firepower on trying to capture the two eastern provinces after failing to take the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

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