Ivan tended to see the bright side, even as Russian soldiers inched closer and shells pounded his home village of Studenok.
“Everything will calm down,” he assured his young wife, Polina. “It will stop. Everything will be OK. We will not get hurt.”
A farming hamlet of 1,200 people in eastern Ukraine, the village was a casualty of geography: It suffered intense bombardment from Russian forces sweeping toward the Donbas region. That ferocity intensified in late May, when the ground shook and villagers ran for cover, many darting through smoke plumes and into…
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