To produce this work, I visited Ukraine and photographed people living on the doorstep of war. The fighting there—more or less constant for 3+ years—has brought a seemingly endless stream of everyday concerns: rising food prices, inflation, dwindling employment, difficulty traveling through the ubiquitous military checkpoints, and trouble affording heat in the winter.

Besides these day to day inconveniences, there are also matters of life and death: land mines wait in fields and forests; residents are afraid to enter land they once used for work and play. Many homes have been destroyed by bombing.

These photographs show the world of the Ukrainian people who are forced to live in the midst of war. They aren’t soldiers—they’re just ordinary people trying to live a normal life in impossible circumstances.

—Tim Eastman

Editors’ Note: This project was recognized by the jury of the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016—don’t miss the work from all 50 of these outstanding, international talents!

If you’re interested in seeing other work on this topic, we’d encourage you to check out one of these previous articles: Sparks, Wiktoria Wojciechowska’s series on the ordinary (and extraordinary) people fighting in Ukraine; Crimea Sich, a project on the military summer camp for children located in the Crimean Mountains; and Black Days of Ukraine, a photojournalistic project on the conflict by Magnum Award winner Valery Melnikov.