Sofia Tolmacheva at her house close to the war zone in Pisky, eastern Ukraine. ‘I don’t believe in any of these politicians anymore.’ Photograph: Roger Waleson/Sopa Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

When Sofia Tolmacheva celebrated her 70th birthday a decade ago, the future looked bright for her village of Pisky in eastern Ukraine. Nearby Donetsk(...)

Czech presidential candidate Jiri Drahos and incumbent Milos Zeman attend a televised debate ahead of an election run-off, in Prague. Photograph: David W Cerny/Reuters

Twenty-eight years ago, Simon Panek was looking ahead to a bright future for a Czechoslovakia that had suddenly been freed from communism by the Velve(...)

 Observers of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe  inspect the house in Avdiivka, eastern Ukraine, where Yelena Aslanova and three of her friends were killed in a shelling on the night of the Eurovision Song Contest. Photograph: Valeri Kvit/EPA

As Kiev prepared to host the final of Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month, 700km away in eastern Ukraine Yelena Aslanova was holding her own mo(...)