Dobropillia, that's an eastern Ukrainian mining settlement straight out of a construction kit: the slag heap, as big as a mountain, towers over the town. Every city has such a dump, and because no two are alike, they are as important landmarks for the people here in the Donbass coal region as their cathedral is for the people of Cologne. The Voznesenka dump, for example, looks like an Egyptian pyramid, at least from one side, and the Chelyuskintsiv mine dump in Donetsk, with its double dome, is reminiscent of a lying woman.

Konrad Schuller

Political correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Berlin.

The Dobropillia dump, on the other hand, has a clear edge at the top like Cape Town's table mountain, and at its base gathers everything that makes a Ukrainian mining town: winding towers, tracks, flying chicken traders on the streets and as sleeping quarters for the workers underground either blocks in gray concrete or sprawling hut settlements on the outskirts of town, whose fences and cucumber beds are lost in the steppe.