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Inside Ukraine's Illegal Mines

 / Updated 
Sergei Ivanov who has worked in 6 illegal mines over 17 years blames the Ukrainian government for his living conditions. “I don’t like the government in Kiev,” he says. 
In the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine he takes the Russian side. “Mining conditions in Russia are a lot better than they are in Ukraine, I have friends in Russia who are miners, who live a lot better than me, their life is better. If war starts, there will not be work, so I will fight on the Russian side.” 
Here he is doing what he called a “safety inspections” at an illegal mine in Shahtersk, eastern Ukraine on April 28, 2014 before the start of his shift. One of the support beams by his head is clearly snapped in half. (Ghazi Balkiz/ NBC News)
Sergei Ivanov who has worked in 6 illegal mines over 17 years blames the Ukrainian government for his living conditions. “I don’t like the government in Kiev,” he says. In the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine he takes the Russian side. “Mining conditions in Russia are a lot better than they are in Ukraine, I have friends in Russia who are miners, who live a lot better than me, their life is better. If war starts, there will not be work, so I will fight on the Russian side.” Here he is doing what he called a “safety inspections” at an illegal mine in Shahtersk, eastern Ukraine on April 28, 2014 before the start of his shift. One of the support beams by his head is clearly snapped in half. (Ghazi Balkiz/ NBC News)Ghazi Balkiz / NBC News

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