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'My brother saved my life - but lost his own'

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Maksym had been fighting for 200 hours without a break when he was killed by a Russian sniper in the city of Bakhmut.

"For eight days he did not eat, or sleep," his mother Lilia says. "He couldn't even close his eyes for five minutes because the sniper could shoot."

There's a reason why she now calls Bakhmut "hell". It's the city that took the life of one son and left her only other child seriously injured.

Her one scant comfort - that one died saving the life of the other.

Maksym and Ivan volunteered to fight when Russia invaded Ukraine last year. At the time Maksym was 22 years old and Ivan just 18.

Ivan, the younger brother who still carries the scars, says they were inseparable. "He was always with me and I with him. For me, he was the dearest person."

Ivan shows me videos and photos of them together - in a trench, in a military vehicle, trying to get some rest.

As time passes, you see two smiling, handsome young men change, gradually appearing wearier as war strips away their innocence.


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