23 | APR 2019
23 FEB | 2015
Øthers from Artemivsk, Artemivsk, Ukraine
When there are no reasons to play, stadiums become part of war
The military conflict in Ukraine has left football grounds empty. The army use them as barracks and improvised field hospitals.

n April 2014, Artemivsk, a city in the province of Donetsk, was seized by the pro-Russian separatists. The Ukrainian army managed to regain control (but not before a bloody battle) in late July. Since then, this area has one of the highest rates of activity in the war-torn territory of Eastern Ukraine. Shelling, bombs, machine guns, tanks and helicopters. The conflict worries Europe and has raised tensions between the US and Russia as in times of the Cold War. Over here, 70 percent of the population speaks Russian. The sense of belonging to one country or the other, was in crisis long [...]

Journalist. El Gráfico. Published articles in newspapers and magazines of 20 different countries. Travelling on a permanent basis, he's looking for a flat in Stockholm and dreams of running a hot-dog truck in Monaco. He hates fish, especially those who sell it smelly. MUNDBØL is his fault.
[...] before the first shot was fired.
The Kharkov-Rostov  and Kiev-Donetsk routes cross Artemivsk. What was a blessing in times of peace and commerce, today has become a punishment for its citizens.

Artemivsk is also famous for its winery and a salt mine which records the world's largest underground space. In those caves, symphonies have performed concerts, two 5-a-side football matches were played simultaneously, and even a balloon has been floated inside. But no one can live underground and avoid watching the war, unfortunately.
Soldiers cannnot win their battles underground, though. They need to be on the surface, and to have a broad and open space to deploy. Therefore, the football stadium Artemivsk, as many other grounds in the Donetsk Oblast, became a multipurpose building, used as a hospital, military barracks and heliport. 

There's no room for football, despite the goalmouths remain standing, ready for action. [Ø]
Martin Mazur