The separatists control a large area close to the Russian border. From the town of Novokivka in the north to the contested town of Shyrokyne in the south.
In February 2015, both sides signed an internationally brokered agreement aimed at finding a political solution.
But repeated ceasefire attempts have failed. The fighting maybe less intense now, but the shelling continues most days. Both sides blame each other for starting a recent escalation in violence.
But this isn't a story about politics or the European-Russian rivalry. This is a story about some of the people who have to endure the suffering of war on both sides of the front line.
"I am a reasonable thinking person. I have a university education," says Yelena Zenushkina, a clinical psychologist who left the front-line city of Donetsk looking for work in hot spot Avdiivka. "You think I don't understand that at any moment a shell could land here? Of course, I understand, but there's nowhere to go."
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