After more than a year of brutal and bloody war, many Ukrainian soldiers struggle with severe psychological consequences. Nightmares, sleep problems, anxiety, and stress.

On a secret location in Eastern Ukraine, soldiers arrive every week from the harsh battles on the front line to a treatment centre that offers aromatherapy, someone to talk to and a relaxing space.

To ensure that they won’t break completely down during battle, but can continue fighting, the centre treats around 100 soldiers every week before they once again are sent back to the front.

The centre offers various forms of therapy and has treated a few thousand soldiers in the past six months.

At the sanatorium, Nikon has arrived directly from spending months at the front line. After a week’s break and relaxation, he will also soon return to the war.

“I saw how bullets came through the trees and continued flying,” he says. “You can’t see them, you can hear them, it’s whistle phew, phew, phew.”

Oleksandr Vasylkovskyj from the Invincibility Foundation project, says a full rehabilitation programme is not possible so long as the war is continuing :

“We need that they go back and complete the mission, so if we will give them two or three weeks in these conditions it will be too much.

“We are talking about the process of reset – decompression. Rehabilitation is completely different.”


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