Loup Bureau: in Donbass, “the trenches are both the place where we live and where we die”

A dive into the daily life of soldiers on the Donbass front line. In “Trenches”, journalist Loup Bureau films a Ukrainian army brigade in this region of eastern Ukraine, where kyiv forces have been fighting pro-Russian separatists backed by Moscow since 2014. An immersion, filmed before the Russian offensive of February 24, which is released in theaters this Wednesday, May 11 and obviously takes on a very special resonance, while the invasion launched by Vladimir Putin more than two months ago is at the center of the global attention. The tunnels and the bunkers, the choice of the 4/3 format and black and white… In an interview with “l’Obs”, the French reporter returns to the genesis of his documentary.

Originally, what led you to the Donbass front?

In 2013, I covered the pro-European revolution in Maidan Square, kyiv. I didn’t know Ukraine at all. One thing leading to another, I met people with whom I bonded, in particular Dima, a young engineer. When, a year later, war broke out in the east of the country [entre les séparatistes prorusses soutenus par Moscou et l’armée ukrainienne], like many civilians, he chose to enlist. Then, he rose through the ranks in the Ukrainian army to the post of commander. In the meantime, we became friends, and I regularly went to the front with him. It was he who allowed me to follow this battalion, the 30and Ukrainian army brigade

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