The journey in the off-road vehicle leads past endless fields and through empty villages. A year ago there was still an idyll here: small country houses that are so typical for Ukraine, with gardens, fruit trees, stables for chickens, goats and ducks. But the war destroyed them. Some corrugated iron roofs are riddled with holes from Russian attacks. Walls have collapsed and windows are just a shambles.
Not even dogs roam the area anymore. Burned-out vehicles are always lying on the side of the road. Ukrainian tanks are hidden among bushes in the avenues planted in Soviet times to protect the cornfields from the wind. The soldier at the wheel has long since given orders to put on his helmet and races over bumpy and mud-covered tracks. Artillery pieces thunder in the background.