Reference : V-P-UA-E-00527
Date : 12/07/2016
Country/Region : UKRAINE
Caption : Pokrovsk. The ICRC helps families find relatives. Liliana and Dimitri, 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. [...]
Dmitrii and Liliana stand in their living-room under a portrait of their son, Zhenia, who disappeared during summer 2014 because of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine..
“Not that I am boasting, but he was very bright, says Liliana, his mother. Zhenia always protected me and tried not to upset me. Even just before he went missing, he did not say a word. I called him asking where he was. He said everything was all right, they were speaking to some people. Until the last moment, he did not say anything, hoping that the problem would be settled and they would be released, but, as you can see…”
Dmitrii gave up shaving after his son went missing. He promised himself that he would shave off his beard only once his son came back. Dmitrii is tough, maintaining a stiff upper lip when he sees Liliana always crying and covering photographs of their son with kisses. “He is a strong man. He says that we need to wait just a little more - we have been waiting for long and our son will soon return,” explains Liliana. “I would not wish it on any parent or even the enemy… The only good thing is that I see Zhenia in my dreams every night, and it gives me hope that my child is alive, thinking of me and will soon come back. I had a dream recently that my son said to me: “Mum, we will be released in 100 days and 15 hours. I hope it was a prophetic dream and now I am waiting for that day.”
The photograph is part of the ICRC exhibition "Uncertainty".
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5760x3840
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour