Imagine a little town in rural Ukraine, with potholed roads, decayed public buildings, ill-looking gas pipes. And its broadband Internet. A few years ago, broadband Internet brought a second life to families in villages like that.

In a country where millions have taken the path to labour migration, many families have at least one family member working abroad, be it in Russia or in European countries. With the large amount of remittances they transfer back to their hometowns, streets are crowded with fancy cars. Large, modern houses appear in residential neighbourhoods. The rural landscape has changed over the past 25 years.

The families themselves have changed, too. They are now “Skype families”, maintaining a close connection to their loved ones abroad through virtual means. The unity of many families is thus at risk. So is the coherence of Ukraine’s economic development. Yet a new modus vivendi has emerged. It is made of risks and disappointments, yet also of opportunities.

Photo © Chiot's Run

Team members

Sébastien Gobert

Sébastien Gobert is a French journalist and traveller. After living in different countries in Europe, he settled in Ukraine in 2011.

Olga Tokariuk-Shelest

Olga Tokariuk-Shelest is a TV journalist and presenter based in Kyiv. 

Michael Riedmüller

Michael Riedmüller, born in 1983 in Austria, has been working as a freelance journalist being based in Lisbon, Portugal.

Merlin Daleman

Merlin Daleman (°1977) is an independent photo journalist based in the Netherlands. 

A grant of €3.010 and one of €3.650 allocated respectively on 16/12/2013 and 29/10/2015
ECB/2013/177 and JF/2015/JA2A/286




  • Die halben Familien von Bobivtsi (DE) - Le Monde Diplomatique, September 2016

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