Welcome to Donetsk
We used to love Donetsk, the city of coal mines, roses and football, but now we strongly advise against visiting it. Taken over by Russian-backed rebels who proclaimed the 'Donetsk People's Republic', it stands right on the front line of a simmering armed conflict. Its brand-new airport, built for the UEFA football championship in 2012, was levelled by artillery fire in an excruciatingly long battle, as were adjacent residential neighbourhoods. Journalists and ceasefire observers accredited by both the Ukrainian government and the rebels are the only foreigners who sneak into rebel-held territories, often risking their lives to do so. Wait for better times before even thinking of travelling here.