For decades, coal mining was the most celebrated industry in Ukraine's Donbas region, and the trade still occupies a place in the region's popular imagination as a shining achievement of Soviet labor. But the war in eastern Ukraine has plunged already struggling mining towns into a deep crisis.
At the few enterprises that continue to operate, salaries are not paid on time, accidents are frequent, and mines face closure as outdated equipment and inefficiency make them unprofitable. The once proud industry is in a state of decline and the industrial region faces a bleak future.
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