In 2004 Chekmenev produced a series of portraits of veterans of the Second World War. The photographer saw older men, war heroes, used and abused both by Soviet and then by Russian propaganda, as sad and forgotten men, doomed to live with bodies mutilated by the traces of old battles.
Ten years later, war returned to Ukraine. In 2014-2015, the photographer visited military hospitals and produced numerous portraits of soldiers severely wounded in the East. Young men who lost limbs sit in wheelchairs or rest on hospital beds. Chekmenev decided to unite these two photo series, demonstrating the price paid by simple soldiers in the 20th century and today. The visual similarity of the inflicted wounds and lost limbs testifies to humanity’s inability to learn the lessons of history.