The Distant Barking of Dogs: In the shadow of Ukraine’s war

A child’s life on the front line in eastern Ukraine before the 2022 Russian invasion.

Up until February 2022, Oleg grew up on the front line of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine surrounded by anti-aircraft and missile attacks.

Many people left his village Hnutove, near Mariupol, after the conflict broke out in 2014. But, with nowhere else to go, Oleg remained with his beloved grandmother.

At school, the 10-year-old attended evacuation drills amid classes. At home, he spent nights taking shelter in the basement and his days of going on adventures with the other boys were left behind.

The sounds of war were everywhere – sometimes in the distance but other times frighteningly close.