Reportage

Report from Azovstal: Daily Grind of Ukrainian Fighters in Photos Taken by a Captured Photographer

An Azov battalion fighter Dmytro Kozatsky (call-name “Orest”) has spent the last months at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol. He took photos of the Ukrainian military there, especially of those wounded during the russian assaults on the city. On May 20 Dmytro informed that together with the hundreds of other fighters he got captured by the russians, and shared his photo archive. We publish his photos from Azovstal here.

Not much is known about Dmytro Kozatsky. He was born in Zhytomyr oblast, he is 26. In 2014 this guy dropped out of studying in Poland and came to Kyiv to participate in the Maidan Uprising. Soon he joined the National Guard of Ukraine, and then the Azov battalion. Recently, he has served as the battalion’s press-officer.

On March 24 Dmytro shared a video from Mariupol which shows him working under bombardment with a camera. “Today I remembered my old dream: 9 years ago, while studying in Poland, in the evenings I took a big backpack, tossed a lot of books inside it and went running at the stadium – in dreams of becoming a war correspondent. At that moment, I couldn’t fathom this would turn into a reality,” he wrote then.

9 years ago, while studying in Poland, in the evenings I took a big backpack, tossed a lot of books inside it and went running at the stadium – in dreams of becoming a war correspondent.

Ukrainian Veterans’ Foundation calls Dmytro “the eyes of Azovstal”. On May 10 he posted the portraits of wounded Mariupol’s defenders inside the steel plant. Kozatsky’s photos have appeared throughout the global media. Just in a few days, “Orest” was captured.

“That’s it. Thanks for the shelter, Azovstal – a place of my death and my life. By the way, while in captivity, I will leave you photos of the best quality possible, send them to all the journalistic awards and photo contests; should I win something, it will be a great pleasure when I’ll get released. Thank you all for your support. See you,” wrote Dmytro on May 20.

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