/ Lesha Berezovskiy / Photo story

We stay

In May 2014 separatists suddenly broke into the headquarters of local TV channel in Donetsk where I was working back then. “It is our tv channel now” – they said. Those who wanted to work for them could stay. Those who didn’t were free to go. I took my things and left. That all seemed like a joke to me and I went to visit my friends around Ukraine. When I was in Kyiv one month later I called my boss again and he told me it wasn’t going to be fixed soon so I better move to Kyiv. So I went back to Donetsk packed all my stuff and moved to Kyiv. That was a few days before the train connection stopped. On February 24th, last year when I woke up from explosions, when most of my friends were leaving I felt I couldn’t leave my home for the second time. I’ve been documenting life in between the sirens, russian attacks, volunteer trips, power outages. I tried to capture rare moments of happiness as well as war crimes committed by russians.

Lesha Berezovskiy (1991 in Luhansk Oblast) is a photographer from Ukraine. The auto-didact grew up in Donbas, between the rough industrial city of Yenakijeve and the quiet, rural town of Novoaidar, where his grandparents lived and where his mother sent him and his sister as often as possible, in order to protect them from the tough city vibes. There, spending the days hoarding goats and enjoying nature by the Aidar River, Lesha developed his love for nature and learned to appreciate the time and space alone with his thoughts – a characteristic that has been recognizable in his photography from the very beginning, manifesting itself as a very fine sense for the atmosphere surrounding a subject or a situation, bringing his images to life. His works were published in magazines like i-D magazine, ZEIT Magazin, Monocle, Le Monde, Dazed, Republik, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. He is also known for documenting rave culture in Ukraine.