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Portrait. A Hero of Our Time


Single, 2nd place

Valentina is one of the four remaining civilians living in the frontline town of Pesky, one of the most dangerous places along the frontline. Although she lives on government-controlled territory,  she is a passionate separatist with framed photos of Putin and Russian flags lining her walls. Without electricity, running water or friends, she relies entirely on the Ukrainian soldiers living next door to survive. She calls it "living from the hand of the enemy." With no hope for the future and nothing but bitter hatred keeping her alive, Valentina has only her cat for company. She wishes to one day see her grandchildren, who live only a few kilometers away in the separatist territory. "I wish this war would sink into the ground, down to hell where it belongs. The land is covered in bullets, shrapnel and landmines and is drenched in the tears and blood of those who died. I soak my clothes in tears from sunrise to sunset.”

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