Nicolas Tonev (special correspondent in Sloviansk), edited by Gauthier Delomez / Photo credits: JOSE COLON / ANADOLU / Anadolu via AFP 06:13, February 28, 2024

On the sidelines of the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in the disputed region of Donbass, the war imposes its constraints on the young generation, deprived of outside life.

Curfew, distance learning for two years... Young people are bored, like in Sloviansk, near Bakhmout, where Europe 1 went.


“There are 7 of us. Before, we were close to 20,” sighs one of the young Ukrainians still present in Sloviansk, near Bakhmout in Donbass, despite the war with Russia.

Danil, Denis, Vlad and their friends, all aged between 17 and 19, are the last to master, or almost, BMX in this exposed city.

"There are few residents now, I can't get used to it, the streets are dark in the evening... It's impossible to walk around", regrets one of them at the envoy's microphone special from Europe 1.


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"There is a curfew at 9 a.m., we are all home at 8 a.m. Life is ugly, there are blasts, explosions around...", adds a second.

Everyone stayed in the city while other friends evacuated this region of Ukraine with their families.

“I find it hard to hope for a future”

Against the boredom imposed by the war, BMXs are therefore a refuge, despite their wear problem.

“The wheel is broken... Shit wheel... The tire is leaking, I'm inflating it again,” explains Danil, a bit annoyed, although his bike saves him from depression.

“I sometimes ride three hours a day, it gives me pleasure. The problems stay at home, I forget the war,” confides the young man.

It's not so easy for Vlad, his face sad and struggling.

"I find it hard to hope for a future. Studies are remote for safety, it sucks. I'm going to go to another city in the center of the country, here it's really very complicated", whispers- he.

And when it comes to girls, for these teenagers, there is an immediate curfew, this time for modesty.