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Nikolay - Ukraine

These days a piercing silence sits over this ghost town, once home to some 300 families.

“Before the conflict, many people from Mariupol would spend their summer vacations here. They would bring their children, enjoy fresh air and buy organic farm products,” say Nikolay.

If you wandered into his village you might think you had stumbled onto the set of a post-apocalyptic movie. The military has banned access to Vodiane and visits by outsiders are a major event. “All we now hear are blazing guns and constant shelling,” adds Nikolay. “Was all of this necessary? After all, isn’t there enough space on earth for everybody?”

Red Cross delivers humanitarian aid to the seven families who remain here. Photo: CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/Y. Nosenko. Meet more of the people featured in our Stories of Life series.