Reference : V-P-UA-E-00528
Date : 12/07/2016
Country/Region : UKRAINE
Caption : Dobropillia. The ICRC helps families find relatives. Natalia holds a box that came with a model ship belonging to her son Sasha, who disappeared during the spring of 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. [...]
Natalia talks about him with admiration. She was very fond of her son, who was always helpful since childhood and who loved to build things. "Sasha joined the young technicians club in 5th grade and came first in different competitions. He made a U-boat with a remote control and wanted to build airplanes and helicopters," says Natalia.
Natalia also has another child, a daughter, Olga. Her husband abandoned them and she had to work three jobs when the children were small. "The salary at school was paid late, I did not receive alimony, and I had to feed the children. So I often left them with their grandmother or alone. That is why they did everything themselves," explains Natalia.
"My children are clever and very close to each other. Sasha learned how to do everything himself. Even as a schoolboy, he knew everything - how to wash clothes and how to dry them, how to hang them up, how to do the ironing. So whenever I had to leave them, I was always calm and confident that he would meet his sister after her music classes, do the shopping, repair something if needed. Whatever you threw at him - Sasha can do everything."
Natalia knows nothing about her son's is whereabouts. She has the right to know.
The photograph is part of the ICRC exhibition "Uncertainty".
Original material : digital
Resolution : 3840x5760
Orientation : portrait
Colour/B&W : colour