Reference : V-P-UA-E-00539
Date : 16/07/2016
Country/Region : UKRAINE
Caption : Ilovaisk. The ICRC helps families find relatives. Tatiana sits outside her home, under the grapevines cultivated by her husband Iurii, who disappeared in autumn 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. [...]
Iurii was 53 years old when he went missing. He was a police officer and a miner. Together with his wife Tatiana, he had worked hard in order to earn enough to build them a house, where they had raised their now 20-year-old daughter.
“Iurii knew that I always wanted to live in the house and he did everything he could to make that happen,” says Tatiana. She misses Iurii every day: “Wherever I look around the house I see him: the grape vines he cultivated, the garden, even the bees that he started to care about just before the war.”
Tatiana is now alone in the big house. “I do not want to cry, but I find myself crying every day. Every day for two years.” Tatiana remembers their life: “It is just that we were together all the time. We did everything together, from household chores to visits to the sauna or even fishing.” She adds, “Iurii was a good man, as a police officer he cared about those who were weak, he was especially sensitive if women were attacked. But he was also very loud, yelling a lot, it was just his character. I miss him so much.”
The most difficult part is the waiting, the uncertainty of what comes next. “After 26 years of marriage, of the time we shared, the time we spent with each other, every single day, together… two years of waiting, hoping for any information is just… difficult…”
The photograph is part of the ICRC exhibition "Uncertainty".
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5334x3556
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour