Reference : V-P-UA-E-00526
Date : 12/07/2016
Country/Region : UKRAINE
Caption : Pokrovsk. The ICRC helps families find relatives. Margarita and Iurii, fathers whose son is missing since summer 2014.
Photographer : HOFFMAN, Brendan
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website article, 05.10.2016: "Ukraine crisis: Uncertainty on both sides of the contact line. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and grandparents of the missing on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine cope as best they can with an impossible, wholly intolerable situation.
Waiting to discover what has happened to their relatives means living in limbo, denied the chance to mourn or a reason to stop hoping against hope. This uncertainty has a severe emotional, social and economic impact on the loved ones of the missing. These are their stories. [...]
Margarita and Iurii are in the back yard of their house. Margarita sits in a chair and Iurii wears a watch, both gifts from their son Zhenia, who disappeared during the summer of 2014.
Margarita and Iurii are very proud of their son and his gifts. "This watch on my wrist - Zhenia gave it to me in 2010," says his father. "It still works. I haven't even changed the batteries. It may not be a brand-name watch, jewellers may say to me, but it lies somewhere very close to the brand," Iurii adds, a Russian expression meaning 'if not perfectly true, then almost.'
Zhenia turns 30 this year. His parents hope that soon they will be able to see their son, to greet him, shake his hand. "We believe he is alive. Like everyone else in Ukraine, we have grandmothers who read fortunes. They say that Zhenia is alive, just wait... Do you know what it's like, to be called Dad or Mom?" asks Iurii.
"This feeling cannot be explained with words. It is the most precious thing. And then the child disappears, and we do not know where he is. Two years full of uncertainty. The uncertainty it is the worst thing in the world. Do you understand how hard it is for us, as parents? We need to know what happened to our son."
Margarita and lurii know nothing about their son's his whereabouts. They have the right to know. [...]"
The photograph is part of the ICRC exhibition "Uncertainty".
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5760x3840
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour