The Donbass conflict between the pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army had its devastating effects also on one of the economical pillars of the region: coal extraction. The largest mines are now almost all closed, many have been bombed and several stopped any activity whilst waiting for the nationalization from the separatists authorities. In their place appeared dozens of artisanal mines, the so called kopankas, where a day-to-day underground war is fought unknown to western countries. In Ukraine controlling coal equals to controlling power, and this is well-known to the separatists, who are heavily involved into this business also used to finance the military revolution. Kopankas are mostly holes in the ground, dug with basic techniques. Men will go down up to 300 meters extracting largely by manual methods. Despite this, a team of 4 workers can produce up to 5 tons per day, immediately placed on the market. Working condition are harsh: workers extract coal laying down on their back for the majority of the time surrounded by the deafening noise of sledgehammers and with extremely limited visibility conditions due to the dust and scarcity of light. Accidents are frequent despite the fact that no official statistics are available. Despite this, the kopankas remain the only source of income left for thousands of families. Leonid and Yuriy are 33 year old twins. They have been working for over ten years as miners in Kopanchi in the mineral area of Torez, for a pay around 400 rubles every 500 kg of coal. Leonid is married to Galina and has three daughters: five years old twin daughters Vika and Lena and Yana, ten years old; notwithstanding his extremely hard work, Leonid is a very present father and husband. When he is not working or with his family, Leonid loves to spend time with his brother Yuriy playing video games or watching soccer games of his favourite team, the Dinamo from Kiev. Yuriy is married to Oxana and lives with her seventeen year old daughter Anastasia is his parents-in-law’s house. Together with his childhood friends, also employed in the coal supply chain, he has occupied an abandoned house in the neighbourhood which they use to meet up and play cards.