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Waiting for the War

Photographer Ismail Ferdous has documented the daily life of the Ukrainian soldiers stationed in the west.

In the region Transcarpathia, in the west of Ukraine, military enlistments are actively working, accepting all volunteers, sending them for training, registering men of conscription age and putting them in line for mobilization. Territorial defense is organized on the ground, they also go through intense training. Not all men, or women, have military experience, but the situation requires decisive action. This is where many Ukrainian soldiers are waiting to be sent to combat in the east.

Sergiy Shchetinkin, from Brovary. He received a draft notice, contacted the Uzhhorod military enlistment office and later joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Chop.

Vladislav Pritomanov from Dnipro. Before the war, he worked as a consultant in the Big Four. He decided to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily.

A soldier (name undisclosed), working in a special unit which fights crime on the border.

A soldier (name undisclosed) in Chop, waiting to be deployed.

A soldier (name undisclosed), working in a special unit which fights crime on the border.

Kovalenko Dmytro, from Kyiv. Before the war, he was a co-founder of the Ukrainian-American company He joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine voluntarily.

Two soldiers (names undisclosed) walk on the road near the city of Chop.

In the city Chop stands a monument to Taras Shevchenko at one of the crossroads, and a concert hall, where the people in military uniforms gather. It does not look like a military establishment. The men in uniform can look confused, and it is difficult to understand who is in charge or what they are doing there. But one thing is sure: they are all determined. Roman, a former military veteran who joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces at the beginning of the war says: “Ukrainians are such a nation that will fight to the end; his work will be done when Putin is defeated.”

Entrance of Chop, with a statue of Taras Shevchenko.

New joined military volunteers gathering up at the Chop cultural centre in the morning before they go to their daily drills. Many of them worked in IT.

At the military training centre in Chop, volunteer soldiers returning after their daily grocery shopping.

Soldiers helping at the Chop train station, where refugees arrive from all of the country.

New joined military volunteers going to their daily drills.

Two soldiers walk on the side of the road near Chop.

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