Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg
Photographer: Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg

Coal in the Time of Conflict

Since 2013, Ukraine has been enforcing "decommunization" - a process to rid the country of Soviet-era symbols. Remains of the country’s communist past are being torn down all around, from monuments to street names. Even the Red Star erected above the Pavlogradska coal preparation plant in the contested eastern Donbass region is coming down. The facility, operated by DTEK – Ukraine’s largest private power company - is spending $25 million to upgrade the plant, one of the largest of its type in the country. Photographs by Vincent Mundy for Bloomberg

The Red Star erected above the plant in the contested eastern Donbass region is coming down as part of the country's decommunization efforts - violations of which are punishable by up to five years in prison.

The Pavlogradska coal plant modernization will help the plant to process seven million tonnes of coal annually, as well as reducing the site’s environmental footprint.

A train used for underground mining moves along the tracks.

According to DTEK, after the upgrading work at Pavlogradska is completed it will become the company's largest coal processing plant.

The site processes coal from DTEK's two largest mines located in Western Donbass - the Geroiv Kosmosu and the Blagodatna mines.

Workers inspect renovations on a coal cleaning facility at the plant.

Modernization at the site is scheduled to be completed this year and will nearly double the overall output of processed coal.

Over 120,000 people work at DTEK’s enterprises across Ukraine.

The coal is used to fuel DTEK's power stations.

A "Heroes of the Cosmos" sign welcomes visitors to the Pavlogradska plant in the Donbass, Ukraine’s industrial and coal mining region in the east.