Donetzk, Ukraine, 2015

In the spring of 2014, after violence broke out between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Shakhtar Sports Center in the Donetsk area went on lockdown. It reopened only in January 2015, during a ceasefire. 

With a  cease-fire agreement, the fighting has largely abated. Left in the wake are communities bearing the burden of rebuilding homes and lives on top of a devastated economy. Many banks haveshuttered, as have a number of businesses. And with many social benefit payments cut off, residents have been forced to line up for humanitarian support. The city has become a shell of its former self.

This is a series about Ukrainian youths training in martial arts is a glimpse into the determination of residents to carry on with their lives.