NATO HQ Hosts Photo Exhibit on Donbas

Ukrainian photographer and volunteer Dmytro Muravsky opened the “Face of Peace” photo exhibit at Brussel’s NATO Headquarters. The event also featured the presentation of Muravsky’s book titled “War it is! Through the Eyes of the Volunteer.” The exhibit covered the realities of the war in Eastern Ukraine.

Heroes, fighting to supress Russian aggression in Donbas are the main characters of Dmytro Muravsky’s work. He says he wanted to show how the war looks from the inside, because he  had long volunteered  in the ​​war zone, reports Radio Svoboda.

As for his book “War it is! Through the Eyes of the Volunteer,” Muravsky said that he tried to show the history that started with the Maidan events via photos. Even during those peaceful protests, people felt the beginning of the war, Muravsky said. On the night of the shooting at Institutska street, he saw saw a lot of people, among which were politicians, activists, buses of policemen, and protesters. He said that they were already on the path to war, one which now must be won.

“Even far from the battlefield, you feel the war,” Muravsky said.

British Navy official Tim Cook, one of the numerous exhibition visitors, was struck by the diversity and completeness of emotions reflected by its author.

His NATO-offiliated French partner, who remained anonymous, was impressed by “the humanity of the faces, the strong sense of society and optimism, despite the terrible battles and military devastation.”

NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Tacan Ildem suggested that the photographs give “a sense of what situations are created by war.” Besides the traumatic environment, viewers can also see hope for the future in the eyes of those depicted in the pictures, he said.

The time period for the presentation at the NATO headquarters was well chosen. Within two days, the Chiefs of Staff of all NATO member states gathered to discuss the issues of the Alliance’s work, the Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine, and the reformation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.


Head of Ukraine’s Mission to NATO, Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko said that evidence of events in eastern Ukraine depicted in the photos and reflected in the  illustrations and even the cover of the book, which was made from uniform camouflage, should remain in the memory of each visitor.

“When we see that here is a Crimean Tatar man, and here is an ethnic Hungarian, both in combat uniforms, despite the challenges created by Hungary, we see compatriots defending Ukraine’s independence after a 24-hour battle. This is what this artist is doing and this is what we couldn’t do as diplomats,” Vadym Prystaiko said, summing up the exhibit.