This is the story of the women fighting the war in the east of Ukraine - in Donetsk and Luhansk region. Some women are only 22 years old, many of them are fighting against Russia since they are 18.

Photographer David Tesinsky spent time with the female warriors documenting the struggle. The tensions in the Donetsk and Luhansk region, Ukraine are very evident with regular shooting.  Russia is dependent on Ukraine and the whole thing seems to be a "hybrid war" since ex president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych turned against Ukraine and started to support Russia and this conflict.

 Yulia Tolopa (22 years old) Citizen of Russia, who volunteered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces; raises a daughter,  Yulia was born and grew up in Russia. She was fond of sports, and won the championship of Russia in assault hand-to-hand fighting. She came to Ukraine when the Revolution of Dignity began, because she did not believe Russian propaganda. She wanted to see real events with her own eyes. With the beginning of the war, she volunteered to the Aydar battalion to help her Ukrainian friends who, who love and defend their country and fight for freedom. By her act she wanted to prove that she condemns the policy of the Russian government and aggression against Ukraine. Yulia fought in the hottest spots of the East of Ukraine, first as a striker, then as an aerial reconnaissance officer. She was wounded twice. Yulia is on the wanted list of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB), with three criminal cases opened against her. After her decision to defend Ukraine, Yulia lost her family's support, her parents agreed to facilitate her detention in the territory of the Russian Federation. Her current family is a little daughter who was born in Ukraine and lives in Kyiv with the friends. Yulia decided to stay in Ukraine forever and to applied for the Ukrainian citizenship.

Yulia Tolopa (22 years old)
Citizen of Russia, who volunteered to the Ukrainian Armed Forces; raises a daughter,

Yulia was born and grew up in Russia. She was fond of sports, and won the championship of Russia in assault hand-to-hand fighting. She came to Ukraine when the Revolution of Dignity began, because she did not believe Russian propaganda. She wanted to see real events with her own eyes. With the beginning of the war, she volunteered to the Aydar battalion to help her Ukrainian friends who, who love and defend their country and fight for freedom. By her act she wanted to prove that she condemns the policy of the Russian government and aggression against Ukraine. Yulia fought in the hottest spots of the East of Ukraine, first as a striker, then as an aerial reconnaissance officer. She was wounded twice. Yulia is on the wanted list of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB), with three criminal cases opened against her. After her decision to defend Ukraine, Yulia lost her family's support, her parents agreed to facilitate her detention in the territory of the Russian Federation. Her current family is a little daughter who was born in Ukraine and lives in Kyiv with the friends. Yulia decided to stay in Ukraine forever and to applied for the Ukrainian citizenship.

 Yulia Mykytenko (22 years old) Ukrainian, soldier, reconnaissance platoon commander, married.  At the inception of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, Yulia felt the surmountable desire to defend her country. Despite the fact that by education Yulia is a philologist, she volunteered to the Ukrainian army. During the execution of one of the combat missions, Yulia met her future husband. After marriage, she continued her military service to protect her homeland next to her husband in one battalion. Due to her personal qualities, courage and professionalism, Yulia became the platoon commander of the reconnaissance platoon when she was just 21 years old.

Yulia Mykytenko (22 years old)
Ukrainian, soldier, reconnaissance platoon commander, married.

At the inception of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, Yulia felt the surmountable desire to defend her country. Despite the fact that by education Yulia is a philologist, she volunteered to the Ukrainian army. During the execution of one of the combat missions, Yulia met her future husband. After marriage, she continued her military service to protect her homeland next to her husband in one battalion. Due to her personal qualities, courage and professionalism, Yulia became the platoon commander of the reconnaissance platoon when she was just 21 years old.

 Nana (30 years old) Georgian, soldier of the Georgian National Legion, married with three children.  Nana is a professional soldier. Since 2008, she fights in the ranks of the well known Georgian National Legion, which supports the freedom and independence of Georgia and Ukraine. Since the beginning of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, the Georgian National Legion has been rendering active assistance to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. Nana defends the integrity of Ukraine along with men: performs combat missions, renders the first medical aid to the wounded.  Nana has a family and three children back in Georgia.   

Nana (30 years old)
Georgian, soldier of the Georgian National Legion, married with three children.

Nana is a professional soldier. Since 2008, she fights in the ranks of the well known Georgian National Legion, which supports the freedom and independence of Georgia and Ukraine. Since the beginning of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine, the Georgian National Legion has been rendering active assistance to Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression. Nana defends the integrity of Ukraine along with men: performs combat missions, renders the first medical aid to the wounded.  Nana has a family and three children back in Georgia.

 

 Olya Benda.     She worked as a cook in one of the military brigades. She was wounded during the bombardment in the city of Avdeevka. After the mutilation of the foot, she returned to civilian life. Olya got married and brought up her son.

Olya Benda.

 

She worked as a cook in one of the military brigades. She was wounded during the bombardment in the city of Avdeevka. After the mutilation of the foot, she returned to civilian life. Olya got married and brought up her son.

Acknowledge support from international Visual Art Project Ukraine: Tiding Over