Citizen Soldier- Ukraine

"Max" test drives a Soviet era armoured vehicle which the mechanics have been working on. Once it is operating reliably it will be depolyed to Illovaisk.

Suspected sepratisists are detained by Battalion Donbas.

Suspected sepratisists are detained by Battalion Donbas.

Kiev, Ukraine - Ukrainian displaced persons from Donbass area of Ukraine seek sanctuary in industrial section in the outskirts of Kiev.

Dontestk Oblast, Ukraine - New volunteers in the pro-Ukraine Batallion Donbass are taught how to asemble an Ak-47.

Soldiers from Battalion Donbas spend time in town. Their presence is accepted by locals. Despite the fact the town is deep in Donetsk Oblast, it has not been taken by sepratists. Some credit the uncharacteristally high employment level, others say the local oligarch paid off sepratists.

On the way to Illovaisk. Plans to rondevous with Right Sector and the army were called off. Many in Battalion Donbas do not trust the ability of the Ukrainain army leadership. The battalion will not participate in operations it does not feel are safe.

Near Luhansk, Ukraine - Volunteers with Battalion Aidar attempt to start a car used to transport troops to and fro the front. Sevaral of the men requested I ask President Obama for a few cars.

Preparing to rondevous with Right Sector and the army near Illovaisk. The plans were eventually called off. Many in Battalion Donbass do not trust the ability of the Ukrainain army leadership. The battalion will not participate in operations it does not feel are safe.

August 21, 2014 - Krasnoarmiiysk, Ukraine - A volunteer in the pro-Ukrainian Battalion Donbass welds metal onto a Soviet era armoured vehicle in the hope that it will offer better protection.

"Pastor" talks with a new volunteer who is sewing a Battalion patch on his jacket. Volunteers pay for all of their own equipment, weapons, and ammunition themselves.

Members of Battalion Donbas study social media sites such as VK and Facebook for information on pro-Russian separatists active in the area. While they are constantly surprised at the useful information posted, many battalion members are guilty of doing the same.

"Poltava" prepares to go on an operation to detain the mayor of a nearby town who collaborted with the separatists.

Near Luhansk, Ukraine - A volunteer with Battalion Aidar plays Soviet songs fom the Afghan War for troops waiting to leave for Luhansk.

The parents of suspected sepratisist deny her son's involvement.


Kurakhove, Ukraine - A volunteer standing guard at the main gate of the Battalion Donbas base.

Pavel Kishkar, a commander with Battalion Donbas, attends a meeitng of local businees leaders. They are trying to develop an economic development plan once the war is over. Pavel says that the Battalion must become a political force to combat corruption.

The mother of a suspected separatist denies her son's involvement. A member of Battalion Donbass shows her her son's phone with speratist phone numbers in it.

A voluneteer from Donetsk who was injured while fighting with Battlaion Donbass sits with his fiance at the military hospital in Kiev. Volunteers have organized a wedding for the couple for the following week.

A local woman offers "Raven", a driver and mechanic with Battlalion Donbas, a donation for the Battalion.

Kiev, Ukraine - Outside Maidan Square, two women pose for a selfie while members of the Ukrainian armed forces and various battalions do a dress rehersal for the Ukrainian Independence day parade.

Soldiers rest after returing from fighting.

Donbas Battalion members the night before a scheduled operation near Illovaisk. "Balu" (left) waits for his wife's phone call while his friend chats with friends on Facebook.

Near Luhansk, Ukraine - Every weekend Inna (right) and her husband Vova deliver supplies, along with care packages for the volunteers, to Battalion Aidar on the outskirts of Luhansk. Here, Inna hugs "Armi", an Armenian immigrant and volunteer ambulance driver at a rendezvous where they bring him medical supplies.

The mayor of a local town who has been accused of colaborating with seperatists is being held in a shed on the Battalion Donbas base.

The commander of Battalion Donbas, "Semon Semonchenko", briefs members of the Ukrainian press. Until his successful run for parliment in October 2014 he had not been seen in the media without a balaclava.

A children's playground outside the gates of the local Battalion Donbas base. Battalion members are warry of standing near the gate becasue of the possibility of grenade attacks.

Sasha and "Raven", both drivers and mechanics with Battalion Donbas, train their wives. They are concerned that the women may have to fight after what they have seen at Illovaisk.

Krasnoarmiisk, Ukraine - Battalion Donbas base. The town, the furtherest point reached by separatist forces, is now under Ukrainian control.

Donbas Battalion troop transport with "To Moscow!" written on the side.

Suspected separatist is detained by Battalion Donbas.

"Pastor" is a former Soviet Army sniper who became a born again Christian preacher. He joined Battalion Donbas, leavinhg his church and congregation in his wife's hands. Here, he has just returned from fighting near Illovaisk.