At around nine in the evening, we put on our helmets and bullet proof vests to go out on patrol towards the remaining trenches. The route is very short. We walk in pitch black, tripping over the rubble, taking the dug-out path in single file. We hear the bullets whistling past our heads while the militiamen next to us repeatedly recite their litany. “No lights, sniper, no lights”. We reach a sort of observatory, on the first floor of a rundown building. The scene we are faced with is both wonderful and terrifying: the entire horizon before us is lit up to daylight by endless bursts of lightning. They look like fireworks but obviously they are something else: a blazing shower of bombs falling ceaselessly on the tragically torn area of Donbass .
When at war, the black of night is a strange travelling companion. Soldiers love darkness because it protects them from enemy eyes. But at the same time they fear it: anything can surface from obscurity, and in general it is nothing good. The blackness was unexpectedly slashed open at fourteen minutes past ten at night, as we sat at the garrison desk, interviewing one of the militiamen. All of a sudden the air was pierced by an extremely powerful hiss. We saw the face of the boy opposite us distorted into an indescribable grimace of terror. We jumped to our feet and lunged over the bunker threshold. As we toppled down the concrete stairs, an unimaginable blast pounded our ears. The air moved bringing with it a powerful shower of incandescent shrapnel.