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'Grey Zone' Conflict
     Christopher Occhicone/zReportage.com via ZUMA (bios)
In the now abandoned industrial outskirts of Avdiivka, Ukraine, the 74th battalion of the Ukrainian army maintains several small positions within 100 meters of those held by separatists troops of the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR). Despite the conditions of the Minsk ceasefire agreement, separatists continue to shell the area. An unpaid volunteer unit belonging to Right Sector maintain one of the positions and fights alongside the regular army. It is made up of tight knit group who have fought together in nearly every major battle of the war and have yet to suffer a casualty. Despite the hardships, the group has made a decision to remain independent and unpaid, and they routinely choose to man the most dangerous positions. Their position has also become a social hub on the front line. They have a reputation for doing their jobs with a smile and for having some of the best food on the front. As the political situation in Ukraine continues to change, the Right Sector volunteers understand their role in the war is precarious. While a blind eye is turned to certain ceasefire violations they know the can just as easily be blamed for undermining the ceasefire. They understand that their own government may one day turn its back on them. However, they say that they don't fight for the government, but for the idea of Ukraine.
'Grey Zone' Conflict
     Christopher Occhicone/zReportage.com via ZUMA (bios)
In the now abandoned industrial outskirts of Avdiivka, Ukraine, the 74th battalion of the Ukrainian army maintains several small positions within 100 meters of those held by separatists troops of the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR). Despite the conditions of the Minsk ceasefire agreement, separatists continue to shell the area. An unpaid volunteer unit belonging to Right Sector maintain one of the positions and fights alongside the regular army. It is made up of tight knit group who have fought together in nearly every major battle of the war and have yet to suffer a casualty. Despite the hardships, the group has made a decision to remain independent and unpaid, and they routinely choose to man the most dangerous positions. Their position has also become a social hub on the front line. They have a reputation for doing their jobs with a smile and for having some of the best food on the front. As the political situation in Ukraine continues to change, the Right Sector volunteers understand their role in the war is precarious. While a blind eye is turned to certain ceasefire violations they know the can just as easily be blamed for undermining the ceasefire. They understand that their own government may one day turn its back on them. However, they say that they don't fight for the government, but for the idea of Ukraine.