Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the village of Bohorodychne in the eastern region of Donetsk was home to about 800 people.
When it came under attack from invading Russian forces in June 2022, all of its residents fled as their town was reduced to rubble – all except for Mykola Honchar, who chose to stay behind in his hometown to care for his ailing, elderly mother.
“It's my motherland. My mother is Russian but I was born here... where can I go?,” Mykola, 58, tells EPA.
“It makes no sense to go, and where can I go from here? She is 91 (his mother), you can see she is sick. What will I do with her there?”
He also rejected the idea of evacuating to Russia. “What will I do there? Mine for gold?”, he asks.