SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Anastasiia Aleksandrova doesn’t even look up from her phone when the thunder of nearby artillery booms through the modest home the 12-year-old shares with her grandparents on the outskirts of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine.
With no one her age left in her neighborhood and classes only online since Russia’s invasion, video games and social media have taken the place of the walks and bike rides she once enjoyed with friends who have since fled.
“She communicates less and goes out walking less. She usually stays at home playing games on her phone,” Anastasiia’s grandmother, Olena Aleksandrova, 57, said of the shy, lanky girl who likes to paint and has a picture of a Siberian tiger hanging on the wall of her bedroom.
Anastasiia’s retreat into digital technology to cope with the isolation and stress of war that rages on the front line just seven miles