Picture power: The masked man

Image copyright Marko Djurica/reuters

More than a year has passed since the crisis began in Ukraine, with a student protest in Maidan, in the centre of Kiev. Russian intervention followed and the country seemed to split, and in May pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk declared independence after unrecognised referendums.

Earlier, in April, Reuters photographer Marko Djurica took this image of a pro-Russian protester seated inside a government building demonstrators had occupied in Donetsk. Here, he explains the story behind the image.

"On 3 March, a couple of hundred pro-Russian demonstrators stormed the Donetsk regional government building after clashing with police who were guarding the main entrance. They successfully entered through a side door, and in the end made it to the second floor where the parliament sits.

"Unrest continued to spiral in Ukraine, and the following month separatists declared a People's Republic of Donetsk. Two months after these initial attacks, protesters were still inside the regional government buildings and masked men guarded the barricades.

"I asked to take a series of portraits of these men. I saw a massive chair underneath a neon light and I picked my lens, adjusted the light, and people began to pose in shifts. Each subject was relaxed and struck whatever pose suited him.

"Later, they asked with interest how people in Europe see the situation in Ukraine and wanted to know if anyone supports them, and what will happen in the end. They seemed a bit scared. I didn't have a good answer to their last question."

You can find out more about the Ukraine in our in-depth guide.

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